Obid-kori Nazarov remains in a critical condition in hospital

Imam Obid-kori Nazarov, who survived an assassination attempt three weeks ago, is still in a critical condition in hospital, Swedish police have said.

Per Thelen, a spokesman for the police in Jämtland who are leading the enquiry into the murder attempt against the 54-year-old Uzbek exil Obid-kori Nazarov, said today that his condition has not changed over the last week.

“The police cannot go into details about his condition, but he remains critical,” Thelen said.

Obid-kori Nazarov’s supporters, many of whom were also granted asylum in Sweden and live close to him in the town of Strömsund, have declined to talk to the press.

Since the assassination attempt has, Nazarov’s supporters have become increasingly reluctant to discuss the situation, which has begun to raise concerns among some Uzbek opposition leaders also living outside Uzbekistan.

Obid-kori Nazarov and his followers were fundamentalist in their adherence to their Islamic faith, which meant they were subject to ruthless persecution by the Uzbek authorities.

Tashkent has accused Nazarov and his followers of practising Wahabiism and of other crimes, including bombings, killings and attempts to kill, which took place in Uzbekistan over a period of nearly 15 years.

Many opposition activists in Uzbekistan have concluded that the attempt to kill Nazarov was ordered by the Uzbek government.

Sanjar Umarov, leader of the opposition Sunshine Coalition and a former political prisoner who now lives in the US, recently visited Sweden to carry out his own enquiries into the attempted murder of imam Nazarov.

According to Umarov, the would-be killer who shot Nazarov had been in Strömsund for at least two weeks prior to the attack. Umarov claims the killer was European, possibly from the Baltic States or another eastern European country.

The killer had been hiding under the stairs in the entrance to Nazarov’s block of flats. As Nazarov left his building, he was shot through the head from behind. The appearance of a passer-by prevented the attacker taking a second shot.

Sanjar Umarov believes that the rucksack containing a gun that was found on the day of the shooting in a nearby car park did not belong to the man who shot Nazarov. He was shot with a different weapon, Umarov asserts.

The police cannot go into details about his condition, but he remains critical

Per Thelen, Swedish police spokesman
“It would appear that there was a second attacker nearby, in any case,” says Umarov.

The police in Sweden have not confirmed these findings and say that all their efforts are currently focused on investigating the assassination attempt and they will say more about their findings at a later date.

However, Per Thelen has confirmed that they are following up all leads and the investigation is being carried out on an international level.