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Uzbekistan: jailed writer Mamadali Makhmudov sentenced to additional three years of prison while suffering infarction

Mamadali site
72-year old Mamadali Makhmudov has been sentenced once again to a new prison term, this time for three years.
 
He is currently at the Tashkent city prison awaiting transportation under guard to a colony. Health and life of Mamadali Makhmudov is in grave danger: he had an infarction a few days ago.
 
8 April 2013 in the Gazalkent court of the Tashkent province a court hearing over the writer Mamadali Makhmudov took place. The 72-year old was sentenced to three years of jail term under Article 221 of the Criminal Code of Uzbekistan “Failure to abide by lawful demands of the administration of the penitentiary institution”.
 
10 April 2013 a two-hour meeting of Mamadali Makhmudov and his wife and daughter took place. According to his family, he looks very ill, emaciated and depressed.
 
Writer Mamadali MAKHMUDOV (pen name Evril Turon) was born in 1940, a citizen of Uzbekistan, former chairman of the Culture Foundation of Uzbekistan, leader of the movement “Turkestan” founded upon the initiative of the Uzbek intellectuals, which existed from 1989 to 1993. Laureate of the Hellman – Hammett award given to writers, victims of political persecution and “Cholpan” award instituted in memory of the victims of Stalin’s repressions, which he received for the historical novel “Immortal Rocks”. In 2008 French Publisher "L’AUBE" published this novel in the French translation by Philippe Frizon.
 
  • Mamadali Makhmudov’s case

On 26 February 1999 the writer was detained. On 18 August 1999 the Tashkent regional court sentenced him to 14 years of imprisonment under Article 25-159, Part 4 of the Criminal Code of Uzbekistan (encroachment on constitutional order); Article 216 (organisation of prohibited public associations and religious organisations); Article 242 Part 1 (organisation of criminal associations). Before his transfer to the Tashkent prison he was serving his sentence in the High Security Prison UYa 64/6, in the town of Chirchik, Tashkent Province. This is not the first conviction of the writer upon fabricated charges.

In 1994 Mamadali Makhmudov was planted drugs and during search in his house leaflets of the party “Erk” were found. Keeping leaflets in itself does not violate the law, however, that became one of the pretexts for criminal prosecution. Afterwards, he was held criminally liable upon fabricated charges of “embezzlement”. He was then the Chairman of the Culture Foundation of Uzbekistan. Wide public response and international campaign in support of the writer influenced the authorities and he was released under an amnesty act.

The Association for Human Rights in Central Asia refers to Members of Parliament, public and political organisations, mass media and all interested parties to take a stand and demand the release of Mamadali Makhmudov from prison.