Write for Rights victory! Erkin Musaev released after 11 years of wrongful imprisonment
Erkin Musaev, a former Uzbekistani government official and UN employee, who was tortured and then wrongly imprisoned by the authorities, has written a letter of thanks to Amnesty International following his early release from prison last week.
Erkin Musaev was sentenced to 20 years in jail in 2007 after a series of grossly unfair trials – he was accused of spying for an unnamed NATO member-state and of misusing UN funds. His conviction was based on a confession he was forced to sign after security service officers threatened his family.
Outraged at the injustice of his detention without a fair trial thousands of Amnesty International supporters sent 427,000 messages of solidarity for Erkin Musaev, demanding his release as part of Write for Rights 2014.
Now free, he has written a letter offering his personal thanks to Amnesty International activists who spoke up for him:
“I want to express my great gratitude to all Amnesty International activists, as well as to all those who supported me and my family in a difficult time. My release is a great victory indeed, and your contribution to it is invaluable.
“I would like to note that after the letters of support from the activists, the attitude of the administration of the penal colony to me changed. The staff of the colony began to treat me with more caution, and I was transferred to easier work.
“My father said that after the Amnesty International’s campaign, the attitude of the international community to my case also changed. Again, I am very grateful to you and to all activists of your organisation.
“I want to add that this is the beginning of the victory, as [this campaign] instilled a spirit of hope and struggle in others shamefully condemned and their families. Many people in the zone [penal colony] also witnessed our struggle. You gave hope to the souls of these people. In fact, this is not only my victory, but also the victory of all those who have been shamefully condemned.
“Thank you very much for everything you did for me.”