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Surrounded by the most magnificent snow covered mountains and looking out over a fairy tale winter landscape, it is hard to believe that Azimjan Askarov is being held here in Bishkek, in prison serving a life sentence for a crime he didn't commit. Subjected to torture and an unfair trial, his case has become a political football and from talking to people here there seems no possibility of immediate release despite the huge international outcry and the embarrassment of the government.
One year and a half later, this 60 year old human rights defender "has sustained severe and lasting injuries since his arrest" according to Dr Sandra Crosby, a consultant to Physicians for Human Rights who visited him recently, to carry out an independent medical assessment at the request of Open Society Justice initiative.
Last night I sat with his lawyer Nurbek Toktakunov and 5 others who work for human rights in Kyrgyzstan, all of whom have known him for many years. They discussed the events in Bazar Korgan which led to Azimjan's arrest and what strategies remain open to them to secure his release.