Liberty for Poet Mamadali Makhmudov sign now

We, the undersigned, are deeply concerned for the health of poet Mamadali Makhmudov, held in the prison of Jaslyk in Uzbekistan.

On August 18, 1999, Mamadali Makhmudov as well as five other writers was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment. The charges retained against them, among others, were that they belonged to a Criminal association and had used the mass media to publicly insult the President of Uzbekistan.

M. Makhmudov, whose writings had been prohibited during the Soviet period, had been awarded by the Uzbek government the Sholpam Prize bearing the name of a poet murdered during Stalins purges. Nonetheless, he fell again in disgrace when he gave his support to the writer Muhamad Solin, leader of the opposition party Erk (Freedom) who was a candidate to the Presidential elections in 1991. This party is presently banned in Uzbekistan.
Evidence against the accused were that they held and distributed the newspaper of the Erk Party, prohibited since 1993.

Mr Makhmudov was arrested for the first time in 1994 under the indictment of terrorism, but the accusation was withdrawn.
Shortly after, he was again put under arrest and sentenced to 4 years imprisonment for embezzlement. Following an international support campaign and also due to the impossibility to bring any evidence of his guilt, he was granted Presidential pardon and released.
During his trial in 1999, Mamadali Makhmudov publicly revealed that had been subjected to acts of torture.

Mr Makhmudov is in precarious health and fears have been raised as to his survival.

We urge that the imprisonment sentence imposed to Mister Makhmudov be commuted immediately.
It also urges that the Uzbek Government ensure the appropriate health cares that would grant Mister Makhmudov's survival.




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Angie AyalaBy:
MusicIn:
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To Mister Islam Abduganievch Karimov, President of Uzbekistan

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