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Uzbek Rights Defender Gets Suspended Prison Sentence

Musajon Bobojonov
Musajon Bobojonov

Uzbek human rights activist Musajon Bobojonov has been handed a suspended three-year prison sentence after being convicted on extremism-related charges that he rejects.

At a March 26 hearing, the Quva District Court in the Ferghana region found Bobojonov guilty of preparation, possession, distribution, and publication of materials threatening public security and order. It sentenced him the same day.

Bobojonov, the leader of the Ezgulik (Compassion) human rights group's branch in the eastern city of Andijon, told RFE/RL that he will appeal the ruling.

Bobojonov went on trial on February 5 after investigators claimed that some materials they found in his computer had been defined by experts as containing elements of religious extremism and fundamentalism.

Bobojonov rejects the accusations, saying that he has never promoted religious extremism.

The activist, a graduate of the Tashkent State Institute of Oriental Studies and Cairo University, has said he is "aware of all negative impacts that wrong teachings can cause to our sacred faith."

On February 26, the prosecutor in the trial asked the court to sentence the 51-year-old rights defender to four years in prison.

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

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