Rita Karasartova loves yoga, travelling and sewing traditional Kyrgyzstani jackets with her daughter. Now she is under house arrest, having spent months detained in a cramped cell unable to see or speak to her family. Worried about her people’s access to water, Rita peacefully opposed a border agreement giving control of a freshwater reservoir to Uzbekistan. She has been charged with attempting to “violently overthrow the government” and faces 15 years’ imprisonment.
Urge Kyrgyzstan to free Rita Karasartova
Write a letter to the General Prosecutor of Kyrgyzstan and demand Rita’s immediate release from house arrest, all charges against her dropped and that she can carry out
human rights activities without fear of retaliation.
Rita is a human rights defender and an expert in civic governance. For over a decade she dedicated her life to providing independent legal advice, helping people whose rights had been violated by a corrupt and unreliable legal system. She leads the non-governmental Institute for Public Analysis and is a member of the United Democratic Movement of Kyrgyzstan, fighting against poverty and injustice.
Alongside 26 others, Rita was arrested for opposing a new border agreement that gave control of a freshwater reservoir to Uzbekistan. The group called for people to peacefully demonstrate against the agreement, demanding transparency from the government. Like others, Rita feared Uzbekistan would restrict or prohibit access to water, a scarce resource in the region where loss of access could have devastating consequences.
What drives a person? Dreams or fear? If we have a dream, then fears can be overcomeRita Karasartova
Rita and the others were initially detained for organizing “mass disorder”, and she was charged with attempting to “violently overthrow the government”, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment.