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Five Years After Shooting, Uzbek Imam Recovers Ability To Speak


Imam Obidkhon Qori Nazarov was in a coma for two years after being shot at least three times in the attack in the northern Swedish town of Stromsund. Relatives said he suffered brain damage.

A prominent Uzbek imam who was gravely injured in an assassination attempt in Sweden in 2012 has recovered the ability to speak, his son says.

Imam Obidkhon Qori Nazarov's son, Dovudkhon Nazarov, told RFE/RL on February 20 that his father was now able to communicate by voice.

Nazarov, a critic of Uzbekistan's late President Islam Karimov, was in a coma for two years after being shot at least three times in the attack in the northern Swedish town of Stromsund. Relatives said he suffered brain damage.

The imam was granted asylum in Sweden in 2006 after fleeing Uzbekistan in 1998.

In December 2015, a Swedish court convicted Uzbek citizen Yury Zhukovsky of carrying out the attack and sentenced him to 18 years in prison. An appeals court later increased Zhukovsky's sentence to life in prison.

Nazarov's relatives say they believe the Uzbek government was behind the assassination attempt, and have urged Swedish authorities to continue to investigate.

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