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Uzbekistan: Prisoner of conscience “released but not free”

ICC Note:

“Dmitry Shestakov is the Pastor of an officially registered Full Gospel Pentecostal Church in the eastern city of Andijan [Andijon], who was imprisoned for exercising his right to freedom of religion or belief,” reports Forum 18 News Service.

By Mushfig Bayram

2/3/2011 Uzbekistan (Forum 18 News Service) – Former prisoner of conscience Dmitry Shestakov, who was recently released from a four-year jail sentence continues to be placed by Uzbekistan under the severe restrictions of ‘administrative supervision’, Forum 18 News Service has learned. Among the restrictions Shestakov faces he has to for one year report to police in person almost every week, he may not be outside his home between 21.00 in the evening and 06.00 in the morning, he may not leave his home town without written police permission, and he cannot visit public places such as restaurants. The term of administrative supervision can be extended, and the punishments for breaking the supervision regime range up to imprisonment for four years. The authorities have refused to explain the reason for the restrictions to Forum 18. “He was released from prison but is not free,” a local Protestant complained. Current known long and short-term prisoners of conscience jailed for exercising freedom of religion or belief are Muslims, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Protestants. The latest two short-term prisoners of conscience are two Baptists jailed for distributing religious literature and carrying communion wine used in worship.

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