Jan 042008

MOSCOW: A prominent Uzbek human rights activist has been released from prison, just a month after he was sentenced to more than six years for fraud, a colleague said Friday.

Karim Bozorboyev, deputy chairman of the Esguliq human rights group, was freed under an amnesty celebrating the 15th anniversary of Uzbekistan’s constitution, Esguliq chairman Isroil Rizaev told The Associated Press.

Bozorboyev joined the group in 2004 after leaving Fidokorlar, a government-sponsored political party, saying he was disgusted with corruption in the Uzbek government.

Last month, a court in the central city of Syrdarya sentenced Bozorboyev to six years and three months in jail.

At least 15 Uzbek human rights activists say they have been assaulted, imprisoned or forced into psychiatric treatment since a May 2005 uprising in the eastern city of Andijan.

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