Kadyr Yusupov

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The Yusupov family

Kadyr Yusupov (Uzbek: Қодиржон Юсупов, Russian: Кадыржан Юсупов; born 18 December 1951) is a retired career diplomat from Uzbekistan, who served as his country's Chargé d'affaires in Austria, Slovakia and Hungary from 2006 until 2009. He simultaneously held the post of the Permanent Representative of Uzbekistan to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, UN and other international organizations in Vienna.

Early life[edit]

Yusupov was born in Olmazar, a village outside Tashkent, Uzbek SSR to a working-class family. In 1970 he began his studies at the Tashkent State Institute of Oriental Studies, graduating in 1976 with a degree in Arabic studies. From 1976 to 1982, he worked as interpreter at diplomatic missions in Libya and Iraq.

Diplomatic career[edit]

In 1982 Yusupov joined the diplomatic service of the then regional Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tashkent. From 1987 until 1991 he worked as First Secretary at the embassy in Khartoum, Sudan. With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 Yusupov returned to the now independent Uzbekistan. Later that year he won a place at the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation in Moscow and graduated in 1993.

In 1994 he was posted to Austria as Uzbekistan's Counsellor. From 1995-1999, he was appointed as the Head of Asia Department at the Uzbek Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tashkent. During his tenure he was part of an international team of experts negotiating for peaceful settlement with the Taliban government, as part of the Six plus Two Group on Afghanistan, operating under the aegis of the UN. From 1999-2002, Yusupov worked as Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Uzbekistan in London. From 2006-2009 he was Chargé d'affaires in Vienna. He left the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2009, and has since been working in the private sector advising foreign businesses on investments in Uzbekistan.


Yusupov suffered from long-term mental health issues, with symptoms of schizophrenia. On December 3, 2018, following a psychotic episode Yusupov attempted suicide by jumping under a metro train at the Pushkin station in Tashkent.[1]

He survived with a broken collarbone and a brain injury. On December 10, the State Security Service of Uzbekistan detained Yusupov on charges of treason under article 157 of the Uzbek Criminal Code. He denied the charges. A closed trial in Tashkent started on June 24, 2019.

Allegations of mistreatment[edit]

Yusupov's lawyer Allan Pashkovskiy alleges that the State Security Service of Uzbekistan engaged in violations of procedures and used psychological torture against Yusupov between December 2018 until April 2019, including denial of medication and threats of sexual violence against his family. Complaints were filed to the Ombudsman for Human Rights in Uzbekistan, National Human Rights Centre, Presidential Administration, the Prosecutor General and the State Security Service.

On June 14, 2019, the Prosecutor General Office denied all allegations of torture against Yusupov. Deputy Prosecutor General Erkin Yuldashev said in the press conference that following an internal investigation, the office established 'no facts of psychological and physical torture in relation to Yusupov... and that we are responsible for the outcome of this decision'.[2]

International response[edit]

Human Rights groups[edit]

On June 11, 2019, Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued a press release urging the Uzbek authorities to release Kadyr Yusupov. The press release stated: 'between December 2018 and late March 2019, two State Security Services officers entered his (Yusupov's) cell two or three times each day and threatened that if he did not admit his guilt, they would rape him with a rubber baton, rape his wife and daughter, and arrest his two sons, including a son who lives abroad, by means of extradition...No amount of [Uzbekistan's] progress on paper can be successful when the rule of law is blatantly disregarded, and people are in practice subject to torture.”[3]

On June 21, 2019, International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR) and Association for Human Rights in Central Asia included Yusupov's case in the ongoing EU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue in Brussels.[4]

Yusupov's case is currently being reviewed by the Special procedures of the United Nations Human Rights Council.


On June 12, 2019, Alec Luhn, foreign affairs correspondent for the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph published an article about Yusupov's arrest.[5]

BBC Uzbek Service and Radio Liberty published online articles in Uzbek and Russian.[6][7][8][9][10] Uzbek news portal Kun.uz ran a series of investigative articles.[11][12][13]

On June 25, the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung published a feature by Silke Begalke, titled 'Usbekistan: Netter Versuch' (English: 'Uzbekistan: Nice try') alleging human rights violations by the new government of Uzbekistan.[14]

On July 11, Peter Leonard of Eurasianet published a piece about Yusupov's detention, entitled: 'Former diplomat crushed by Uzbekistan's broken justice system'.[15]

On August 4, Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska of the Al Jazeera printed an article on another case of treason charge in Uzbekistan, that of Andrey Kubatin - an academic imprisoned in Uzbekistan in 2017. Yusupov's case was mentioned alongside.[16]

On August 30, Kadyr Yusupov's eldest son, Babur appeared on Sky News with Adam Boulton for an interview on his father's arrest and trial.[17]

Yusupov's case has also been mentioned in relation to the closure of the Jaslyk Prison by The Diplomat and The Economist.[18][19]


British MP Greg Hands has said of Yusupov's detention: 'British Government are continuing to monitor this case closely'.[5] Hands went on to publicly state his long-term interest in the human rights situation in Uzbekistan, and his active involvement in Yusupov's case.[20][21][22]

The Baroness Stern CBE, a member of the House of Lords and advocate for reforms of criminal justice, also commented on the case. Baroness Stern visited Uzbekistan in 2016 on an official visit[23]


Yusupov's closed trial in Tashkent started on June 24, 2019. According to Yusupov's family and lawyer, following publication of articles in Western media, he was once again denied access to Escitalopram antidepressant medication by the prison authorities.[24]


  1. ^ "Мужчина упал на рельсы в метро в Ташкенте". Gazeta.uz. 3 December 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2019.
  2. ^ Редакция Gazeta.uz (June 14, 2019). "В Генпрокуратуре опровергли пытки Кадыра Юсупова" Gazeta.uz. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  3. ^ Swerdlow, Steve (June 11, 2019). "Uzbekistan: Release Retired Diplomat. Retired Official Tortured in Detention, Family Members Harassed". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  4. ^ "EU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues". International Partnership for Human Rights. June 21, 2019. Retrieved August 4, 2019.
  5. ^ a b Luhn, Alec (June 12, 2019). "Former Uzbek diplomat to UK on trial for treason after suicide attempt". The Telegraph. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  6. ^ BBC Editorial (March 25, 2019). "Ўзбекистон: Ўз жонига қасд қилган дипломат нега ДХХ изоляторида ушлаб турилибди? (Видео)". BBC Uzbek. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  7. ^ BBC Editorial (June 12, 2019). "Ўзбекистон: ДХХ 67 ёшли дипломатга дубинка билан зўрлаш билан таҳдид қилган". BBC Uzbek. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  8. ^ BBC Editorial (July 1, 2019). "Ўзбекистон: Дориси тўхтатилган дипломат Қодиржон Юсупов борасида халқаро хавотирлар ошган". BBC Uzbek. Retrieved August 4, 2019.
  9. ^ RFERL Editorial (March 13, 2019). "Спецслужбы обвинили в госизмене психически больного экс-дипломата". Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  10. ^ Жусупалиев, Эльмурад (June 13, 2019). "Хьюман Райтс Вотч» призвала власти Узбекистана освободить психически больного экс-дипломата, обвиненного в госизмене". Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  11. ^ Редакция Kun.Uz (May 2, 2019). "Бывший посол Узбекистана задержан по обвинению в шпионаже" Kun.uz. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  12. ^ Редакция Kun.Uz (May 17, 2019). "Хоинликда айбланаётган Қодиржон Юсуповга психологик босим бўлгани айтилмоқда" Kun.uz. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  13. ^ Редакция Kun.Uz (Jun 14, 2019). "Ўзбекистонлик собиқ дипломат Юсупов иши бўйича суд бошланади" Kun.uz. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  14. ^ Bigalke, Silke (June 25, 2019). "Usbekistan: Netter Versuch". Süddeutsche Zeitung. Retrieved July 12, 2019.
  15. ^ Leonard, Peter (July 11, 2019). "Former diplomat crushed by Uzbekistan's broken justice system'". Eurasianet. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  16. ^ Pikulicka-Wilczewska, Agnieszka (August 4, 2019). "Why is a Turkic languages scholar imprisoned in Uzbekistan?". Al Jazeera. Retrieved August 5, 2019.
  17. ^ Yusupov, Babur (August 30, 2019). "All Out Politics programme: interview with Babur Yusupov" (Interview). Interviewed by Adam Boulton. London: Sky News. Retrieved September 3, 2019.
  18. ^ Putz, Catherine (August 5, 2019). "Uzbekistan to Close Notorious Prison Colony, the 'House of Torture'". The Diplomat. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  19. ^ Lillis, Joanna (August 8, 2019). "Uzbekistan's new president closes Jaslyk prison camp". The Economist. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  20. ^ Hands, Greg (June 25, 2019). "Twitter post". Twitter. Retrieved July 12, 2019.
  21. ^ Hands, Greg (August 31, 2019). "Twitter post". Twitter. Retrieved September 3, 2019.
  22. ^ Hands, Greg (September 9, 2019). "Twitter post". Twitter. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  23. ^ Press Release, British Embassy Tashkent (October 28, 2016). "Member of the British Parliament finished her visit to Uzbekistan". www.gov.uk. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  24. ^ International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR) (June 21, 2019). "EU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues". IPHR. p. 11. Retrieved June 21, 2019.

Further reading[edit]