Monday, February 7, 2011

Uzbek prisoner of conscience 'released but not free'

Pastor Dmitry Shestakov was reunited
with his three daughters soon after
his release. He remains under probation.
We shared with you in late January that Uzbek Pastor Dmitry Shestakov was recently released from prison after serving a four-year sentence.

Despite his release, Shestakov remains under the severe restrictions of “administrative supervision,” reported Forum 18 News Service last week.

For one year, Shestakov must report to police in-person almost every week. He may not be outside his home between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. He may not leave his hometown without written police permission, and he cannot visit public places such as restaurants.

The term of administrative supervision can be extended, and the punishments for breaking the supervision range up to imprisonment for four years.

Shestakov is the pastor of an officially registered Full Gospel Pentecostal Church in the eastern city of Andijan. He was imprisoned for exercising his right to freedom of religion or belief. Uzbek authorities were unwilling to explain to Forum 18 why they have placed Shestakov under these restrictions.

You can read the full report here.

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