June 16, 2006 - An Irish pressure group, Front Line, announced today that it is giving a 15,000-euro ($19,000) human rights award to Uzbek activist Ahmadjon Madumarov and his organization.
The 60-year-old Madumarov, deputy chairman of the Independent Human Rights Organization of Uzbekistan, is to personally receive 5,000 euros. His organization, the only registered human rights group in Uzbekistan, will receive 10,000 euros.
Front Line says Madumarov is being honored partly in the hope that authorities in Tashkent will free three of his sons and two nephews who are imprisoned in Uzbekistan.
All have been convicted since 1999 for distributing publications by the banned Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir. Madumarov has said those charges were aimed at preventing him from carrying out his work.