Uzbekistani rights activist released from prison


TASHKENT -- Authorities in Uzbekistan Wednesday (October 18) released Mukhammadali Karabayev, a rights activist who had spent more than 11 years in prison, Fergana News reported Thursday (October 19), citing a Facebook post by Vasilii Inoyatov, chairman of the Uzbekistani human rights group Ezgulik.

Before his arrest, Karabayev fought for human rights and led the Namangan Province wing of Birlik, Uzbekistan's first opposition party. He was arrested in September 2006 and convicted of extortion.

Karabayev originally received a five-and-a-half-year sentence. Authorities extended his sentence after convicting him of refusing to follow the orders of prison guards.

Both convictions were trumped up, said Karabayev.

Karabayev is the 14th political prisoner released since Shavkat Mirziyoyev became president last year.

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