Kirgisistan: Aziza Abdirasulova

Peace and justice are the two main goals of my life.

— Aziza Abdirasulova

Aziza Abdirasulova (born 1958) is a well-known human rights activist who works on behalf of the citizens of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan. She is an advocate for prisoners’ rights and the right to assemble peacefully. Her activity is directed towards the fight against injustice and inequality by means of nonviolent conflict resolution. She works for the sake of justice without a personal or political agenda, and her action is based upon tolerance and transparency. She has worked with a diverse range of people in her country and has earned their trust and respect.

Aziza Abdirasulova is a leader of the human rights organization Kylym Shamy (Torch of the Century). She worked as an independent observer during the parliamentary elections of 2000 and noted the gross infringements of voters’ rights. After an arrest and two-day imprisonment for this advocacy, she officially began her work in the human rights sphere. She realized that no one’s rights were protected from the arbitrary whims of the police and that she would not be able to combat this injustice on her own. She established the human rights organization Guild of Prisoners of Conscience, in April 2000, and was elected to head this organization. The political prisoners she supported included a popular politician who was arrested on the order of the Kyrgyz President, who feared him as a rival in the elections, and parliamentary deputies who were critical of the President. In September 2000, seven opposition figures were sentenced to 16 and 17 years imprisonment and confiscation of their property. They had been charged with planning to assassinate the Kyrgyz President. During the court hearings, they pleaded innocent and told the court of having been tortured to extract confessions. The court refused to consider their claims. Aziza was present at the court sessions on behalf of the Guild of Prisoners of Conscience and witnessed the infringement of the rights of the accused. This injustice was acknowledged by international human rights organizations, activists, and politicians. Aziza Abdirasulova led a protest picket demanding their release. The picket lasted for 40 days despite threats from the police, arrest of the protesters, and offers of money to cease protesting. In November 2000, the Bishkek Court reduced the terms of the sentence to six to seven years. A week later, all the accused except one were released on orders of the Kyrgyz President.

Kylym Shamy Guild of Prisoners of Conscience