Uzbekistan Should Release Farmonov
In response to President Islam Karimov’s speech on Uzbekistan’s Constitution Day, and ahead of International Human Rights Day, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“The government of Uzbekistan’s standard way of responding to dissent is to imprison anyone daring to question the government, including human rights defender Azam Farmonov, who is beginning his 10th year of imprisonment,” said Daniel Calingaert, executive vice president. “We urge President Karimov to respect fundamental human rights, as Uzbekistan’s international agreements require, and release Farmonov and other political prisoners from custody.”
Azam Farmonov was sentenced to nine years in prison on falsified charges of extortion. He was scheduled to be released in April 2015, but his sentence was extended to additional five years for “administrative violations,” a usual practice within the prison systems in Uzbekistan. Farmonov was also transferred back to notorious Jaslyk prison. Farmonov is a father of two children, and will turn 37 years old on December 13.
Uzbekistan is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2015, Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2015, Not Free in Freedom on the Net 2015, and receives a democracy score of 6.93 on a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 as the worst possible score, in Nations in Transit 2015
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.