Turkmenistan: Two popular singers released from prison

6 March 2013

The two popular singers Maksat Kakabaev and Murad Ovezov were released from prison as part of an amnesty celebrating the National Flag Day in Turkmenistan, reported Freedom Now:

Maksat Kakabaev, Turkmenistan

“Maksat Kakabaev (also known as MARO) and Murad Ovezov are popular singers who were wrongfully detained in Turkmenistan on fabricated charges. Mr. Kakabaev and Mr. Ovezov were sentenced to seven and five years in prison, respectively. After serving approximately two years in prison, they were released as part of an amnesty celebrating National Flag Day in February 2013.”

The content of one of the Mr. Kakabaev’s songs, titled ‘Wake up, wake up!’, might have been interpreted as a call to stand up against the regime. The lyrics read:

“Open your eyes, look in the mirror
Look at your surroundings
Do not stop, wake up
Enough is enough.”

Chronicles of Turkmenistan, a publication of the Turkmen Initiative for Humans Rights, wrote:

“For two years, when the singers were serving their sentence in the colony, many human rights organizations made efforts to release them. Their names were included in press releases, reports and statements published by human rights defenders. Thanks to these campaigns intergovernmental organizations paid attention to the fate of Maksat Kakabaev and Murad Ovezov, and repeatedly contacted the Turkmen government calling on to release the innocent.”

Read the full stories:

Freedom Now – May 2012:
Maksat Kakabaev and Murad Ovezov

Chronicles of Turkmenistan – 4 March 2013:
Maro is still serving sentence in Bairamali colony

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