When ethnic Uzbek activist and rights defender Azimjon Askarov was arrested after the interethnic violence in southern Kyrgyzstan in June 2010, there were questions about the motives for charging Askarov with serious crimes connected to that violence.
Later, many more questions arose about the trial process, which saw Askarov convicted, as well as his treatment in prison amid reports of his deteriorating health.
July 25 marked one year since Askarov’s death in prison.
Attempts to exonerate Askarov posthumously have so far failed. But a Kyrgyz court on July 27 did overturn a decision that had halted an investigation into whether prison authorities were negligent in providing health-care treatment to Askarov.
On this week's Majlis podcast, RFE/RL media-relations manager Muhammad Tahir moderates a discussion about Askarov’s case and also the recent passing of a controversial new Kyrgyz bill that lawmakers say is aimed at stopping the spread of fake news online but which activists say is merely an attempt to muzzle free speech.
This week's guests are, from Bishkek, Syinat Sultanalieva, a Central Asia researcher for Human Rights Watch who focuses on Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan; and, from Prague, Bruce Pannier, the author of RFE/RL's Qishloq Ovozi blog.