Freedom House Urges Release of Uzbek Human Rights Defenders | Freedom House

Freedom House Urges Release of Uzbek Human Rights Defenders


Freedom House and Human Rights First are urging Uzbek President Islam Abduganievich Karimov to release all human rights defenders in his country as a sign that he is committed to upholding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Freedom House Executive Director Jennifer Windsor and Human Rights First Executive Director Elisa Massimino sent the letter in advance of the 60th anniversary of the declaration on Wednesday. 

The text of the letter is below:

December 5, 2008

His Excellency
Islam Abduganievich Karimov
Republic of Uzbekistan
O’zbekiston 43, Oksaroy
Tashkent, Republic of Uzbekistan 100163

Dear President Karimov,

We, the undersigned international non-government organizations Human Rights First and Freedom House, strongly urge you to honor the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by making it the occasion to unconditionally release from incarceration Uzbekistani human rights defenders, including the following:

Mr. Norboy Kholjigitov
Mr. Sattor Izrayev
Mr. Khabibula Akpulatov
Mr. Nasim Isakov
Mr. Azam Farmonov
Mr. Alisher Karamatov
Mr. Jamshid Karimov
Mr. Salijon Abdurahmanov
Mr. Yuldash Rasulev
Mr. Abdurasul Abdunazarov
Mr. Agzam Turgunov
Mr. Yusuf Juma
Mr. Mashrab Juma
Mr. Abdulahat Madmarov
Mr. Abdullah Madmarov
Mr. Habidulla Madmarov
Mr. Abdusamad Madmarov
Mr. Zafar Rakhimov

We welcome the fact that the government of Uzbekistan has released several prominent human rights defenders during this past year, including Mutabar Tajibaeva. However, we remain profoundly concerned about the fate of those who remain in custody, including the human rights defenders above, prisoner of conscience Sanjar Umarov, and others who may be unjustly imprisoned. You have instructed that the 60th Anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights be widely celebrated in Uzbekistan. We hope that your government will demonstrate its commitment to the Declaration and to the values it enshrines by unconditionally releasing the above-mentioned human rights activists.


Jennifer Windsor
Freedom House

Elisa Massimino
Human Rights First


Uzbekistan is ranked Not Free in the 2008 edition of Freedom in the World, Freedom House's survey of political rights and civil liberties, and in the 2008 version of Freedom of the Press.

For more information on Uzbekistan, visit:

Freedom in the World 2008: Uzbekistan
Freedom of the Press 2008: Uzbekistan

Freedom House, an independent nongovernmental organization that supports the expansion of freedom in the world, has been monitoring political rights and civil liberties in Uzbekistan since 1990.

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