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No Freedom For Uzbek Rights Defender Despite Prison Amnesty

  • RFE/RL's Uzbek Service

Dilmurod Saidov, 54, was convicted of fraud and sentenced to 12 years in prison in 2009. His supporters and rights defenders say the charges were politically motivated.

Dilmurod Saidov, 54, was convicted of fraud and sentenced to 12 years in prison in 2009. His supporters and rights defenders say the charges were politically motivated.

Imprisoned Uzbek rights activist and journalist Dilmurod Saidov is being kept behind bars despite a recent amnesty in the Central Asian country.

Abdurahmon Tashanov of Tashkent-based Ezgulik (Compassion) human rights group said on February 5 that a parole commission rejected Saidov's request for clemency under a mass amnesty for prisoners that was announced in October.

Tashanov said the commission based the rejection, issued on February 2, on what they called "bad behavior" in prison.

Saidov, 54, a former member of Ezgulik, was convicted of fraud and sentenced to 12 years in prison in 2009. His supporters and rights defenders say the charges were politically motivated.

Saidov's wife and daughter -- their only child -- died in a car accident on their way to visit him in jail in 2009. His mother died at the age 89 in 2014.

Saidov's brother, Obid Saidov, says the journalist has lost dozens of kilograms. Obid Saidov said about a year ago that his brother had been diagnosed with tuberculosis.

International rights organizations and several Western governments consider Saidov a political prisoner.

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