Nazarov, Obid-khon Sobitkhony

Uzbek imam regime critique, wanted by the Uzbek authorities and Interpol. Despite allegations by the Uzbek authorities of Obidkhon Nazarov’s involvement in extremist activities, he repeatedly spoke in defense of all religious confessions in Uzbekistan, for freedom of speech, and for other political freedoms. Some arrested near the Imam also state that the imam planned terrorist acts in Sweden (Atayeva, 2012).

Gender: .
State of concern: .

Who, Why and How exiled:

From 1990 to 1996 he was the imam of the Tashkent Friday Mosque “Tukhtaboi”. After he made several critical statements about the disappearance in 1995 of the authoritative religious figure, Abduvali kori Mirzaev, the Uzbek authorities called for his dismissal from religious service. Shortly after, they brought a criminal case against him. For the following two years, he lived in hiding in Uzbekistan. In 2000, he left Uzbekistan, relocating to Kazakhstan, where he received political refugee status through the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR). In 2006, he was granted political asylum in Sweden (Atayeva, 2012)

Category of exile: . (Definitions here.)
Alleged affiliation: Salafism.

Which stages experienced: Stage 1   not Stage 2   Stage 3. (Definitions here.)
Date of most serious incident: 2012.
Violence experienced: .

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

He was accused of religious extremism and involvement in terrorist plots (Atayeva, 2012; The Guardian, 2015).

In 1998, Obid-khon Nazarov was put on a Wanted list (The Guardian, 2015).

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

In 2012, he was shot in the head on the stairs outside his apartment in the remote town of Strömsund. He was in a coma for several months but he is now out of the hospital ( Ferghana news, 2017).  In 2010 Obidkhon Nazarov had already reported to the Swedish police of his concerns of being followed by suspicious individuals (Atayeva, 2012).


International arrest warrant: .

Countries of transit, asylum and/or residence: .

Legal status (refugee/ asylum seeker/ resident):

Has received asylum in Sweden.

Current status:

He is out of coma ( Ferghana news, 2017).

Swedish prosecutors have accused the Uzbek government of involvement in the attempted murder of a dissident cleric living in Strömsund. Yury Zhukovsky, a 37-year-old Uzbek citizen has been charged with for the attack ( The Guardian, 2015).

Press sources:

The Guardian, 2015.  "Swedish prosecutor accuses Uzbek regime of trying to kill dissident", 25 November, 2015. [Online]. Available at:

Nadejda Atayeva,  2012. "The Karimov Regime is Accused of Terrorist Activities: Аn Attempt on the Life of Political Émigré Obidkhon Nazarov", 29 February, 2012. [Online]. Available at:

Ferghana news, 2017. "Швеция: Переживший покушение и кому имам Обидхон Назаров выздоровел и почти свободно общается", 21 February, 2017. [Online]. Available at: