The Union of Councils for Soviet Jews is charging that a 76-year-old Bukharan Jew has been framed for murder in Uzbekistan.
The advocacy organization charges that the trial of Iosif Koinov is part of an increasing climate of anti-Semitism in the former Soviet republic.
Koinov, an observant Jew, is accused of killing a 17-year-old tenant in his building, who was found murdered in bed on Sept. 29.
According to the Union of Councils, Koinov was in fact traveling at the time the murder occurred, and no traces of the victim’s blood were found on the knife he allegedly use.
After being tortured by authorities, Koinov reportedly signed a false confession, according to the Union of Councils.
The trial began on Jan. 5, but was immediately adjourned.
Between 60,000 and 100,000 Jews remain in Uzbekistan, a predominately Muslim state under repressive rule.