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UZBEKISTAN: Norboy Holjigitov, a 60-year-old male human rights activist who is imprisoned in Uzbekistan, is critically ill

September 2010

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Norboy Holjigitov, a 60-year-old male human rights activist who is imprisoned in Uzbekistan, is critically ill.

In 2005, he was sentenced to a 10 years’ imprisonment for defending the rights of farmers in his village in the Samarkand region. The charges he faced were believed to have been invented in order to punish him for his human rights activities. He was found guilty of “libel”, “anti-state” offences and “fraud”. He was sent to a penal colony in Karshi, in the South of Uzbekistan, one of the worst detention places in the country.

Since the start of his detention he has been deprived of medical treatment and his condition is life-threatening. He is suffering from diabetes and his right leg and arm are paralyzed. His blood pressure is critical. He has lost 31 of his 32 teeth and is unable to chew his food. He has lost 40 kg. In February 2010, his health was so deteriorated that he couldn’t move or speak. Norboy Holjigitov was beaten and threatened with being confined to a psychiatric hospital, when he tried to complain about his treatment.

He has been transferred several times to a prison-hospital without receiving appropriate medical treatments. Since spring 2010, he has been suffering from gangrenous lesions on his arms and legs yet deprived of any medical access. The International Committee of the Red Cross was refused every authorization of visit.

According to the Amnesty Law, critically ill detainees must receive a presidential amnesty. However, Norboy Holjigitov has still been denied such a measure. He still hopes to be released and uses any legal mean to denounce his imprisonment. He writes complaint letters to every authority, despite the prison staff confiscating his mail on a regular basis.

Furthermore, his 14 years old son, Shahzodhon, suffers from cancer. He already had five surgeries and is currently treated in a cancer ward in Tashkent. His family sold all their belongings, but they can no longer afford his treatment.

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