Jamshid Karimov, nephew of the Uzbek President, reportedly freed from hospital

Jamshid Karimov. Photo – Fergananews.com
According to unconfirmed reports, the journalist Jamshid Karimov, a nephew of the President of Uzbekistan, has been discharged from psychiatric hospital.

Jamshid Karimov was spotted in his home town of Jizak on 6th November during Eid celebrations, claims Bakhtior Khamraev, a human rights activist and member of the Human Rights Association of Uzbekistan (OPChU).

Khamraev says he did not see Jamshid Karimov personally, but confirmed that five people had seen him, including another member of OPChU. Khamraev could not name these sources out of concern for their safety.

“I’m very worried about Jamshid’s health. One of his neighbours says that Kamirov is not himself,” Khamraev said.

Three years ago, it became widely known that Karimov’s mental health had been compromised by psychotropic medicines. “His wife took him to the hospital, worried that Karimov’s behaviour had become extremely erratic,” said Elena Urlaeva, the leader of the Human Rights Alliance of Uzbekistan (PAU).

Khamraev believes that an official visit to Uzbekistan by Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, prompted Karimov’s release from hospital. She was in Tashkent on 22nd October to meet with the President of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov.

The human rights campaigner also thinks that Karimov’s discharge from the psychiatric hospital was deliberately timed to coincide with Clinton’s arrival in Uzbekistan, as was the release of Norboy Holjigitov, an OPChU member from Samarkand region, who was released on 14th October this year.

“At the meeting with Clinton I asked about the release of five human rights activists and journalists, including Karimov,” Khamraev said.

Jamishid Karimov was taken away from Jizak on 12 Septebmer 2006. On 22nd September of that year, the Jizak criminal court decided that the journalist and human rights campaigner should undergo six months of compulsory psychiatric treatment. For the duration of the treatment, Karimov was committed to the Samarkand psychiatric hospital.

When the six months of treatment had been completed, however, Karimov was not discharged from the hospital. His treatment was extended, even though no recommendation to this effect had been sought from the relevant medico-legal psychiatric experts, nor had the detention been enforced by a court order.

After almost a year as a psychiatric in-patient, Karimov noticed that there had been a deterioration in his health. He complained of memory loss, difficulty concentrating and visual disturbance. The journalist also told his friends and relatives about this worsening in his health, when they succeeded in arranging to visit him.

In March 2008, Jamshid’s mother Margarita Karimova died.

Karimov is himself a member of OPChU; he worked with internet publications such as the Institute for War & Peace Reporting and the Fergana news agency. He is married with one daughter.