Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Please Write on Behalf of Dmitry Shestakov

On January 1, 2007 Pastor Dmitry Shestakov was arrested in Andijon, Uzbekistan. In a raid on the registered Full Gospel Church where he pastored, National Security Service police asked Pastor Shestakov to step outside with them for five minutes. They immediately escorted the 37-year-old pastor to the local police station.

On January 30, he was officially charged with operating an illegal religious organization and distributing literature promoting religious extremism. On March 9, he was sentenced to four years in an open work camp. On May 25, after he refused to repent for his "crimes", he was transferred to a closed labour camp in the city of Navoi to serve the rest of his sentence.

Uzbek prosecutors have long been seeking to imprison Pastor Shestakov. Harassment began in May 2006, apparently in response to the conversion from Islam to Christianity of a number of ethnic Uzbek families.

Please write a polite letter to the Uzbek president, requesting the release of Dmitry Shestakov. Please do not mention The Voice of the Martyrs, or make comments about politics, or include anything that could be considered insulting to the president or Uzbek authorities. Write to:

His Excellency Islam Abduganievch Karimov
Prezidentu Respubliki Uzbekistan
700163 g. Tashkent
ul. Uzbekistankaya, 43
Rezidentsia prezidenta


Sprittibee said...

Has this man been released yet?

Glenn Penner said...

No, Dmitry Shestakov is still serving his four-year sentence in a labour camp in the central town of Navoi.