Uzbek prisoner Tohar Haydarov was given the disappointing news that a mid-year parole from prison ‘will not happen.’ Fellow Christians say that the 33-year-old convert from Islam to Christianity has suffered a number of difficulties since his imprisonment in March 2010.
Many believe that officials used false evidence to punish Tohar for his Christian faith. Under Uzbekistan’s laws, parole is given to those who have completed more than half of their sentence. Officials did not elaborate on why Tohar will not be paroled even after serving more than six years of his 10-year sentence. The Supreme Court has also rejected all appeals.
Tohar’s mother used to visit on a regular basis, but her death a few months ago has meant that he has far fewer visitors. Members of his church are permitted to visit only for a couple of hours every few months because they aren’t relatives.
During a visit with fellow Christians in January, Tohar remarked that the drinking water seems to be salty. He appears to have lost weight as well, and friends can only provide a limited amount of food or liquids six times per year. Despite these problems, Tohar is still in good health.
His Bible was taken away last year, but Tohar has said that he still ‘feels like God is next to him in prison.’ He continues to recite Bible verses that he has memorised, and letters that he has received help him. Fellow Christians say ‘many people from around the world write him letters‘ Although he only receives a handful of those letters, Tohar knows about them and ‘thanks all those praying for him and thinking about him.’
Source: VOM USA
Send a card of encouragement to Tohar Haydarov:
Prison address –
Otryad 13, Pos.
Shaikh-Ali G.Karshi, Kashkadarya Region, 180020, Uzbekistan
When writing, please do not mention Release International, advance your political opinions or include anything which could be insulting to the authorities.
In Tohar’s case, we also recommend not including direct Bible verses or quotations, but rather expressing the Biblical truth or promise in your own words.