|Saturday, 13 January 2007|
|Uznews.net – A human rights defender from Jizak and a member of Independent Human Rights Organisation of Uzbekistan, Utkir Pardayev, was released from prison on 11 January. Pardayev is the second human rights defender who was released in Uzbekistan following a pardoning campaign in December 2006.
Relatives and friends of Utkir Pardayev have said that Utkir is very happy to be released and be with his relatives and friends. His urgent goal is to restore his strength and health after over eight months in prison.
Utkir Pardayev, 41, spent his sentence in Prison No UYa 64/73 in Zafarabad District in Jizak Region, where he was unexpectedly told that he was freed under a pardoning campaign declared by the Senate of the Oliy Majlis, the Uzbek parliament, on 30 November.
The Jizak town court on 29 June 2006 sentenced the human rights activist to four years in prison under Article 105, Paragraph 2, of the Uzbek Criminal Code – inflicting injuries.
According to the criminal case launched against the human rights activist, he injured one young man during a fight with young men in Jizak.
During the trail chaired by judge Hamidulla Hamdamov one witness of the fight said that he did not agree with the investigation results. He said that the victim had not been thrown three metres away, as the investigation claimed, but after a hit “he was still standing, but then became pale and fell on the ground”.
When Judge Hamdamov heard this testimony, he immediately interrupted the witness and told him: “You talk irrelevant things.”
Pardayev’s colleagues said that about 70 people, mainly teenagers, had been involved in that fight, but only the human rights defender was punished.
Bahtiyer Hamrayev, a well-known human rights defender from Jizak, has told Uznews.net in an interview that he is happy about Utkir Pardayev’s release. He is the second human rights activist to be released under a pardoning campaign after Yadgar Turlibekov from Kashkadarya Region over the past month.
“I urge the Uzbek authorities to release all the human rights activists, journalists and other political prisoners,” Hamrayev has said.
He believes that Pardayev was released after many international organisations exerted pressure on the government. Hamrayev expressed his gratitude to these organisations.