October 3, 2017
The United States welcomes the release of human rights defender Azam Farmonov. The news follows the release of Muhammad Bekjanov, Murod Juraev, Erkin Musaev, Jamshid Karimov, and other long-held prisoners of conscience. We applaud these positive steps and hope they signal future releases and a more open approach to civil society. Multiple international human rights groups have highlighted the long incarceration of Azam Farmonov on dubious charges in 2006, and the UN Commission against Torture in 2013 called for Farmonov’s release. The United States acknowledges President Mirzoyoyev’s commitment to strengthening human rights protections in Uzbekistan, as stated in his address at the United Nations, and we look forward to sustained stability and progress towards broad political, social, and human rights reforms.