Posts Tagged ‘Strömsund Municipality’

Refugee in Sweden shot by unknown assailant – Uzbek regime involvement suspected

February 29, 2012

Based on information received today from Mutabar Tadjibayeva, the MEA Laureate of 2008, I share with you the following:
On 22-February, at 13h40 p.m, a well-known religious figure, a former imam from Uzbekistan Obidhon Nazarov was shot in the town of Stromsund, Sweden, where he was settled as a refugee. An unknown person shot him in the head at the entrance of his house when he was going out. The assailant escaped. At the moment, the Swedish police are investigating the crime. The condition of imam Nazaarov remains very critical.
The international human rights organization “Club Des Coeurs Ardents” (“Club Flaming Hearts”) founded by Mutabar and the Centre for political studies “LIGLIS-CENTER” understandably express their suspicion that the Uzbek regime of Karimov has orchestrated the attack.
The message adds the following background: in the period 1990-1996 Obidhon Nazarov was an imam for the capital city mosque “Tuhtaboy”. In 1996 he was unlawfully dismissed from this post and his house near the mosque was taken by the authorities. In 1998, he was forced to flee to Kazakhstan where he was placed under the protection of UNHCR. On 24-May 2004 the eldest son of the imam, Husniddin Nazarov, was kidnapped. Shortly before, Husniddin Nazarov had been questioned by the militia of the city Tashkent. Until today nothing has been heard about or from him.
In the spring of 2006 imam Nazarov was resettled from Kazakhstan to Sweden by UNHCR. But even in Sweden he felt repeatedly forced to change his residence. During 2011, authorities of Uzbekistan requested his extradition but Sweden did not comply and informed the imam himself and uzbek civil society in Sweden about the request.
The authorities of Uzbekistan kept up a constant campaign to discredit the name of O. Nazarov. E.g. in the first half of 2010 a series of video films was shown called “Hunrezlik” (“Bloodshed”), in which the imam is accused of all kind of unlikely crimes. Many of his followers were arrested by the Uzbekistan authorities on trumped-up charges and given long periods of detention.
The imam is considered a protector of the religious freedom in Uzbekistan by his supporters. In 2009 he openly greeted the initiative of US President Obama for the improvement of the USA’s relations with the Muslim world and in 2011, in his sermons, he supported the revolutions in the Arab world as “natural and correct”. However, he condemned the violence, both by the state and by religiously motivated terrorists.
The two organisations end their message with a call for rigorous investigation by the Swedish police and – in view of the catastrophic human rights situation in Uzbekistan – a clear position by the international community.