Uzbekistan: Activist Sentenced to 10 Years. The following is a non-exhaustive list of imprisoned human rights defenders in Uzbekistan whose cases Human Rights Watch follows closely. Many other activists – defenders, independent journalists, and dissidents – are behind bars on politically motivated charges, including Yusuf Jumaev, a poet and political dissident sentenced to five years in a penal colony after calling for President Islam Karimov’s resignation in the run-up to the December 2007 presidential elections. According to his family, Yusuf Jumaev has suffered ill-treatment in prison. Jumaev’s son Mashrab Jumaev was also imprisoned on politically motivated charges in apparent retaliation for their father’s activism.
Another key political prisoner is Sanjar Umarov, leader of the independent political movement “Sunshine Coalition,” who was convicted in March 2006 on charges that appear to be politically motivated. Umarov’s mental and physical health is in grave danger. According to his family, he was weak, emaciated and unable to communicate during a visit in November.
While human rights defender Mutabar Tojibaeva’s release on parole in June 2008 was a welcome step, authorities have not acquitted her. She continues to serve her criminal sentence and remains at risk of being returned to prison at any time.
Azam Formonov and Alisher Karamatov
Abdusattor Irzaev and Habibulla Okpulatov