Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Inmates Go On Hunger Strike In Uzbekistan’s Worst Prison

Posted by Info on 25/11/2010

Inmates serving terms for anticonstitutional activity and religious extremism in the Jaslyk prison in northern Karakalpakstan are continuing their hunger strike to protest against the violation of their right to practise religion.
The Initiative Group of Independent Human Rights Activists of Uzbekistan has learnt from relatives of inmates that meetings with them had been suspended for the past 18 days because several prisoners had gone on hunger strike.“Some relatives believe that the suspension of meetings may be linked to the death of inmates or torturing them.”

Inmates who were convicted for political and religious motives – attempting to overthrow the country’s constitutional system, membership of a banned religious extremist organisation or distributing materials threatening public security – are taking part in the strike.
About 20 relatives of the hunger strikers remain in the prison’s hotel and demand the prison administration allow them to meet the inmates.

The prison authorities in Uzbekistan prevent inmates from practising religion and ban prayers, fasts and religious holidays in jails. However, many inmates insist on their right to practise religion and often face torture and punishment for this.

The Jaslyk prison, which opened in 1999, is home to about 600 inmates, mostly political and religious convicts.

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