Uzbek Jew Freed from Charges After Activists Publicize Case

A 76-year old Bukharan Jew in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, has been saved by the Internet.

Iosif Koinov, who had been accused of murder, was recently informed that the case against him has been officially closed.

After Koinov was arrested and charged with murder last year, his plight was publicized by the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews over various Jewish discussion groups on the Internet.

The activist group maintained that Koinov had been framed in the murder of an Uzbek student who was a lodger in his home and forced to sign a confession. According to the Union of Councils, Koinov had been traveling at the time the murder occurred.

In response to the appeal from the Union Of Councils, close to 25,000 letters were sent from around the world to the Uzbekistan ambassador in Washington and to the prosecutor in Tashkent.

Koinov was released from jail in February, and the initial procurator pressing the case was reassigned.

“There developed a strong influence on the part of the national government to straighten it out,” said Micah Naftalin, national director of the Union Of Councils.

“They were concerned that they might be tarred with a kind of anti-Semitic or anti-human rights brush, over a local case they themselves felt had no merit,” he said.

“They’re entitled for credit for being responsive to a public outcry,” Naftalin said of the Uzbek government.

NEXT STORY