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PEN Urges Uzbek President To Release Jailed Writers

Muhammad Bekjon in 1995
The International PEN organization has urged Uzbek President Islam Karimov to release five jailed Uzbek writers and journalists.

PEN's English center program coordinator, Cat Lucas, has told RFE/RL's Uzbek Service that PEN has sent a letter to Karimov expressing concern about the situation of jailed writers and journalists Jamshid Karimov, Mamadali Makhmudov, Muhammad Bekjon, Yusuf Juma, and Solijon Abdurakhmonov. All five are considered political prisoners by human rights organizations.

Lucas said PEN has previously sent letters to Karimov asking him to release jailed writers and journalists, but the letters have not been answered.

PEN is an international organization that unites the world's writers and seeks to defend freedom of expression.