Prisoner of the Month December 2004 Mamadali Makhmudov

When a group of prisoners arrives at an Uzbek jail they are routinely so badly beaten that there are always fatalities.  To be imprisoned, however, will often anyway mean a death sentence since the jails are rife with TB. 

The journalist and epic poet Mamadali Makhmudov was given fourteen years after a widespread crackdown on dissidents following bombings in Tashkent in February 1999.   Makhmudov is an honorary member of PEN, which believes that the charge against him of threatening the state is unfounded and that he is unjustly imprisoned, his sole ‘crime ‘ appearing to be his friendship with Muhammad Salih, the exile leader of the banned Erk (freedom) party. 

Pen is also concerned at the exceptional brutality of his treatment in prison, where he has suffered three heart attacks and has twice nearly died under torture.

Please send appeals to:

President Islam Abduganievch Karimov

700000 g. Tashkent

pr Uzbekistansky

Rezidentsiya presidenta

Republic of Uzbekistan

Fax:      +998 71 139 5625


Naomi May is a member of English PEN’s Writers in Prison Committee.

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