08/28/2009, 00.00
UZBEKISTAN
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HRW, Uzbek poet and dissident victim of abuse in prison

Yusuf Jumaev suffered abuse and beatings by prison guards. He is accused of "insult" and "resisting arrest". In reality, the motivations are political: he is a staunch critic of President Karimov and the fight for human rights in the country. In a poem he denounced the massacre in Andijan in 2005.

Tashkent (AsiaNews) - The Uzbek dissident poet Yusuf Jumaev political prisoner and a staunch critic of President Islam Karimov, is a victim of violence and abuse in prison. This was revealed by Human Rights Watch (HRW), reporting the testimony of his daughter who met him in recent days in jail. The authorities threatened to deny permission for new visits, if the family continues "mount allegations" about abuse.

Feruza Jumaeva, daughter of Yusuf (pictured), saw her father on August 17. The woman said that there were signs of "recent bruises on the body, caused by beatings received in prison”. He is also continually subjected to "insults and humiliation." Jumaeva adds that a prison guard in charge of the section of detainees, Atoev Jamshid, is responsible for the abuse.  

Yusuf Jumaev, author of "Blood in Andijan, the Uzbek town theatre of a 2005 massacre of civilians by government troops, appears in a poor state of health. He is emaciated, the bones sticking out through his skin, he is very weak and is unable to walk upright. He is one of many dissidents and human rights activists held in the Uzbek prisons. His cell is dirty and the beds are infested with fleas and lice. Poet and scholar, Yusuf was sentenced to five years by a regional court April 15, 2008, on charges of "insulting" the nation and "resisting arrest".

Holly Carter, director at Human Rights Watch Europe and Central Asia, stressed that "the abuse of this dissident poet and pacifist must cease". " Jumaev should not even have been arrested in the first place - she continued - and the Uzbek authorities must release him immediately."

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