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Azam Farmonov

Azam Farmonov

HRD, Chairman
Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan (HRSU) - Syrdarya Branch

Azam Farmonov is a defender of the rights of local farmers and Chair of the Syrdarya regional branch of the Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan (HRSU). He was arrested on April 2006 and sentenced to nine years in prison for alleged extortion. Azam has been reportedly tortured in prison but these allegations have not been duly investigated, and his family has been threatened in several occasions. Azam is detained in a prison colony in Zhaslyk, which is about 1,000 km from Gulistan City, where Farmonov's family lives.

Human rights defenders in Uzbekistan continue to be systematically persecuted. Torture, ill-treatment, arbitrary detention, fabricated prosecutions, imprisonment and excessive force are used by law enforcement officials to prevent human rights defenders from carrying out their legitimate and peaceful work in defence of human rights. The severity of the repression has contributed to a number of human rights defenders being forced to go into exile. Human rights defenders and independant journalists continue to face physical attacks, which remain unpunished.