02/23/2018, 11.05
UZBEKISTAN
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Andijan massacre, human rights activist released after 12 years

He had spread information about the Andijan massacre. Mirziyoyev's crack down on Karimov regime officials continues: ex-prosecutor general arrested.

Tashkent (AsiaNews / RFE) - Isroiljion Xoldorov, opposition politician and human rights activist, was released two days ago, after 12 years in prison. Xoldorov had been convicted of spreading information about the Andijan massacre on May 13, 2005, when Uzbek security forces opened fire on some protesters, killing several people - according to some sources hundreds.

He was the head of Andijan's branch of the opposition party Erk ("freedom"). Xoldorov was arrested in 2006 and accused of planning acts against constitutional order. The first sentence of six years in prison was prolonged twice during his imprisonment.

After his release, the activist expressed gratitude to the human rights organizations and to President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, in office since the death of President Islam Karimov in December 2016.

Mirziyoyev is trying to open-up the country, isolated by a stagnant economy, and has released several public figures, journalists, politicians and activists who had been arrested for political reasons.

In the last year, 18 thousand people accused of religious extremism have been removed from the "black list". At the same time, the current government of the most populous country in Central Asia is "cleaning-up" among the officials inherited from the Karimov regime, which lasted 27 years and was marked by the late president’s iron fist.

After the expulsion of more than 1,000 people from the Ministry of Finance and removal of the head of the secret services, accused by Mirziyoyev of torture, the latest act is the arrest of Rashid Qodirov, who for 15 years had held the position of prosecutor general.

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