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“All human beings are born free and equal

in dignity and rights.”

- Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Bobomurod Razzakov

 

Bobomurod Razzakov is a prominent Uzbek human rights activist and entrepreneur. He has worked closely with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and BBC Uzbek services, for whom he has reported on corruption, forced labor, and problems faced by local farmers in Bukhara—a city 350 miles southwest from the capital of Uzbekistan. He was the Chair of the Bukhara branch of Uzbekistan’s only registered human rights group, Ezgulik.    He is known for serving as a resource for people in need, providing financial and other help to his community.  On several occasions, he helped members of the Bukhara community draft complaint letters to various government bodies, including petitions to courts.  

On June 6, 2013, the head of Bukhara’s counterterrorism criminal investigation unit, which is within the local Department of Internal Affairs (IAD), summoned Mr. Razzakov for a two-hour interrogation.  During the investigation, the official indicated that Mr. Razzakov’s human rights activities were damaging Bukhara’s reputation and demanded that he stop his work and cooperate with international organizations.  The official reportedly threatened him and also suggested that he should “keep an eye on his children.”  Mr. Razzakov told the media and local human rights groups about the increased pressure from local security services over his human rights activities. Immediately after his public denunciation of the threats he had received, on July 10, 2013, Razzakov was detained on “human trafficking” charges.  The sole evidence produced against him was the testimony of a woman who claimed that Razzakov forced her into the custody of another individual, who pressed her into prostitution. On September 24, 2013, Bobomurod Razzakov was sentenced to four years imprisonment by the Bukhara City Criminal Court.