Two prisoners of conscience and three probable prisoners of conscience were granted clemency and released early, but other probable prisoners of conscience were detained on allegedly fabricated criminal charges. Three people held briefly under "administrative arrest" for attempting to travel abroad to a human rights conference were prisoners of conscience. Reports were received of ill-treatment of detainees in police custody. At least five people were executed. Elections were held in December to a restyled parliament, the 250-seat Oliy Majlis. The elections were contested by President Islam Karimov's People's Democratic Party and another party supporting the President's policies, and by candidates nominated by regional governments. Opposition parties remained banned and were not permitted to stand in the elections. Otanazar Aripov and Salavat Umurzakov, former prisoners of conscience, were rearrested in March. At separate court hearings they were ordered to begin serving previously suspended prison sentences of, respectively, five and three years passed on them at the 1993 Milli Mejlis trial (see Amnesty International Report 1994). They were ruled to have violated a condition under which their sentences had been suspended by continuing their active involvement in the outlawed opposition party Erk (Freedom). However, in November they were released by a special presidential clemency decree. Also freed by the November amnesty were probable prisoners of conscience Pulat Akhunov and Nosyr Zokhir (see Amnesty International Report 1994) and Inamzhon Tursunov. Nosyr Zokhir had been sentenced in August to two and a half years' imprisonment for illegal possession of a firearm and narcotics; sources suggested that the case against him had been fabricated. Probable prisoner of conscience Akhmatkhan Turakhanov did not benefit from the November amnesty. He had been arrested on the same day and in similar circumstances to Nosyr Zokhir (see Amnesty International Report 1994, where the name is given as Akhmadkhon Turakhonboy-ugly), and was sentenced in September to 18 months in prison for illegal possession of a weapon. Mikhail Ardzinov, Vasiliya Inayatova and Talib Yakubov were placed under "administrative arrest" for up to 10 days in May to prevent them travelling to Almaty in Kazakhstan to attend a human rights conference. They were prisoners of conscience. Vasiliya Inayatova's arrest by Uzbek police took place after she had already crossed by car into Kazakhstan. There were further arrests and prosecutions of people on criminal charges which may have been fabricated. These people were probable prisoners of conscience. In May Sherali Ruzimuradov, a student, was arrested in Karshi and reportedly charged with illegal possession of a weapon. Sources claimed that he was being detained on a fabricated criminal charge to force disclosure of the whereabouts of his brother, Yusuf Ruzimuradov, an Erk activist who had escaped from police custody in April. In June Gaipnazar Koshchanov, an Erk organizer in Urgench, was sentenced to two years' imprisonment for illegal firearms and narcotics possession. Sources alleged that the charge had been fabricated to punish him for possessing copies of the Erk party newspaper. There was no news of Abdullo Utayev, leader of the unregistered Islamic Renaissance Party, who apparently "disappeared" in 1992 (see Amnesty Interna-tional Report 1994). Sources continued to allege that he was in the custody of one of the state law enforcement agencies. Two Israeli citizens, Grigory Zalkind and Anna Korol, alleged that they suffered torture and ill-treatment while in police custody in Tashkent, the capital, in February. Both reported that they had been severely beaten by police officers and Anna Korol reported that she had been repeatedly raped by two officers. They received no response to their complaints to the authorities about their treatment. The death penalty remained in force. At least six death sentences were passed, three of which were reported to have been carried out. One man convicted in 1991 and one man convicted in 1992 were also reported to have been executed during the year. The fate of three others convicted in 1992 and known to be under sentence of death at the beginning of 1994 could not be confirmed. It was reported that in some cases procedures for informing the family of a prisoner facing the death penalty about decisions made at clemency hearings were no longer being strictly followed, leaving the family uncertain of the fate of the prisoner and in some cases unaware for long periods that execution had taken place. Amnesty International called for the release of Otanazar Aripov and Salavat Umurzakov. It protested against the continuing use of "administrative arrest" to prevent people from exercising fundamental human rights. In cases of probable prisoners of conscience Amnesty International called for judicial review of criminal convictions where people had already been sentenced to terms of imprisonment, and for clarification of the charges against people in pre-trial detention. The organization asked to be informed about investigations into complaints by Grigory Zalkind and Anna Korol of torture and ill-treatment. Amnesty International continued to press the authorities to abolish the death penalty. In November it wrote to the clemency commission calling for stricter adherence to procedures for informing families of people under sentence of death about the outcome of clemency petitions. In June Amnesty International published a report, Uzbekistan: Further prosecutions in the "Milli Mejlis" case: prisoners of conscience Otanazar Aripov and Salavat Umurzakov.

This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.