Juraev [Dzhurayev], Murod

Gender: .
State of concern: .

Who, Why and How exiled:

Juraev was a former Member of Parliament and local mayor in southern Uzbekistan. Juraev was also a member of the Erk (Freedom) opposition party, whose leader Muhammad Salih has been living abroad to avoid political persecution since 1993 (Human Rights Watch, 2015).

Category of exile: , . (Definitions here.)
Alleged affiliation: Erk Party.

Which stages experienced: Stage 1   Stage 2   Stage 3. (Definitions here.)
Date of most serious incident: 1994.
Violence experienced: .

Stage 1 details (accusations/ charges/ Interpol notice/ extradition requests):

Accusations of corruption and undermining the state authority. Juraev drew President Islam Karimov’s personal ire, by being the first official to dissolve a city committee of the Communist Party after the fall of the Soviet Union (Human Rights Watch, 2015).

Stage 2 details (arrest/ detention/ extradition):

In September 1994, Juraev was arrested in Kazakhstan at Tashkent's request (Radio Free Europe, 2015). On the 31st May 1995, Juraev was convicted in a case in which a number of members of the banned Erk party were accused of plotting to overthrow the government. A court sentenced him on various charges to 12 years in prison, later reduced to nine years on appeal (Human Rights Watch, 2015; BBC, 2015).

Stage 3 details (attack/ abduction/ rendition/ torture/ assassination/ death):

He was forcibly extradited to Uzbekistan, where he was charged with planning to overthrow the government by force (Radio Free Europe, 2015).

Juraev’s nine-year sentence was extended by 12 years for alleged violations of prison rules; during this time, he was repeatedly tortured and became seriously ill (Human Rights Watch, 2015).

Prison authorities arbitrarily extended Juraev’s sentence in 2004, 2006, 2009 and 2012, for “violations of prison rules”. On each occasion the extension came just before the end of his sentence. Juraev’s alleged violations of prison rules included “incorrectly peeling carrots” in the prison kitchen, and “non-removal of shoes when entering the barracks” (Human Rights Watch, 2015).

International arrest warrant: .

Countries of transit, asylum and/or residence: .

Current status:

Juraev was released on the 12th November 2015 (BBC, 2015). His release came ten days after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited the country (Putz,  2015).

In 2017, it was reported that the authorities in Uzbekistan refused to issue a foreign travel visa for Murod Juraev when he needed to leave the country for health reasons. During his time in prison he has developed a hernia and is in need of medical treatment. Since his release he has been constantly on the surveillance radar of  state authorities (Centre1, 2017).

Murod Juraev died aged 65 on December 4, 2017 in Tashkent, just two years after serving more than 21 years in prison. The journalist Abdurahmon Tashanov reported him as dying after a long illness. Juraev had finally been granted permission by Uzbek authorities to travel to Germany for spinal surgery related to his post-prison poor health, most likely caused by the heavy labour he endured working in a brick factory. His health deteriorated, preventing him from travelling, resulting in his death (Radio Free Europe, 2017; Putz, 2017)


Press sources:

Catherine Putz, 'Uzbek Political Prisoner Released After 21 Years', The Diplomat, 12th November 2015.[Online]. Available at: http://thediplomat.com/2015/11/uzbek-political-prisoner-released-after-21-years/ (Last accessed on the 15th April 2016)

BBC Русская Служба, "В Узбекистане отпущен из тюрьмы диссидент Мурод Джураев", 13 November, 2015. [Online]. Available at: :http://www.bbc.com/russian/news/2015/11/151112_uzbekistan_juraev_release

Centre1, "Мурад Джураев: из политзаключенного Узбекистана в невыездного", 27, June, 2017. [Online]. Available at: https://centre1.com/uzbekistan/murad-dzhuraev-iz-politzaklyuchennogo-uzbekistana-v-nevyezdnogo/

Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty, 'Uzbek Political Prisoner's 'Living Hell' Ends After 21 Years', 12th November 2015.[Online]. Available at: http://www.rferl.org/content/uzbekistan-opposition-figure-juraev-released/27359847.html

Human Rights Watch, 'Uzbekistan: Activist Freed After 21 Years', 11th November 2015.[Online]. Available at: https://www.hrw.org/news/2015/11/11/uzbekistan-activist-freed-after-21-years

Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty, 'Uzbek Opposition Figure Who Spent 21 Years In Prison Dies Two Years After Release', 4th December 2017. [Online]. Available at: https://www.rferl.org/a/uzbekistan-opposition-figure-juraev-dies/28895816.html

Catherine Putz, 'A Death and a Question: What Does The Future Hold for Uzbekistan's Political Prisoners?', The Diplomat, 5th December 2017. [Online]. Available at: https://thediplomat.com/2017/12/a-death-and-a-question-what-does-the-future-hold-for-uzbekistans-political-prisoners/