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Rights Defender Shocked At Appearance Of Jailed Uzbek Politician

An Uzbek human rights defender who was allowed to visit an opposition politician imprisoned for more than 20 years says he was shocked at his physical deterioration.

Surat Ikramov told RFE/RL on January 26 that authorities allowed him to visit former lawmaker Murod Juraev over the weekend.

According to Ikramov, Juraev, who is 61, looked much older. He said Juraev had no teeth and that he looked like a broken man.

Juraev's wife, Kholbeka Juraeva, has been issuing warnings about her husband's health.

Juraev was arrested in 1994 on charges of attempting to overthrow the government.

He was sentenced to 12 years in jail in 1995.

Juraev's supporters say the case was politically motivated. Juraev's jail term has been prolonged several times for alleged violations of penitentiary regulations.

He is now expected to be released in 2016.

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

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