The deteriorating condition of Sanjar Umarov, the former head of the Sunshine Uzbekistan Opposition Alliance, is causing grave concern to his family and human rights activists. Umarov was arrested and jailed after the Andijon massacre. He has reportedly been drugged and tortured in prison, spent 13 months in solitary confinement, and 16 months without being allowed to communicate with legal counsel or family members. Find a recent update here and background information here.
The Uzbek regime this week sentenced a leading human rights activist to 10 years in jail on trumped-up charges in a case that observers say is politically motivated. As with the Umarov case, the authorities brought criminal rather than nakedly political charges against Azam Turgunov, who heads the opposition group Mazlum (The Oppressed),. In his case, he was arrested in July on charges of extortion. RFE/RL carries further details:
After a court in western Uzbekistan’s Karakalpakstan Autonomous Republic handed down the sentence on October 23, Uzbek opposition activist Dilorom Ishoqova called the trial a “show.” “I wasn’t hoping that Azam Turgunov would be freed — he wasn’t imprisoned to be set free,” Ishoqova said. The authorities “were going to lock him up sooner or later, fabricating some pretext. The case is related to his human rights activities and political activities.”