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Uzbek Rights Activist Released After Eight Years In Prison

Gaybullo Jalilov (file photo)
Gaybullo Jalilov (file photo)

Uzbek human rights activist Gaybullo Jalilov has been released after serving eight years in prison, his relatives told RFE/RL.

Family members said on March 17 that Jalilov, a 51-year-old member of the unregistered Society for Human Rights, was released from prison on March 16 and is currently in his home village in the southern Qashqadaryo region.

Jalilov was arrested in 2009 and later convicted of plotting a terrorist attack on an airport in the city of Qarshi. He was sentenced to 13 years in prison.

Human Rights Watch condemned Jalilov's conviction, saying it was politically motivated and based on fabricated evidence.

Jalilov's relatives have said that he was regularly tortured while in prison in the former Soviet republic in Central Asia.

Shavkat Mirziyoev, the longtime prime minister who became president after his autocratic predecessor Islam Karimov died in 2016, has been releasing political prisoners as part of an apparent policy of gradually reducing authoritarian control.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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