By Jeremy Reynalds
Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service
KAZAKHSTAN (ANS) -- Uzbek Protestant pastor Makset Djabbarbergenov has been released from prison in Kazakhstan's commercial capital of Almaty.
Kazakhstan is located in Central Asia and Eastern Europe.
According to a story by Forum 18's Felix Corley, the release occurred on Dec. 4.
Forum 18 reported he was taken to the airport to be reunited with his wife and four children.
They boarded a flight for Germany in the early hours of December 5, arriving safely in Europe, his friends told Forum 18 News Service.
Facilitating the release and asylum in Europe was the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
According to Forum 18, Uzbekistan had been trying to extradite Djabbarbergenov on charges which carry a maximum 15 year prison term to punish him for leading an unregistered Protestant community.
His friends in Almaty told Forum 18, "We need to thank the Kazakh government. They did the right thing."
Forum 18 said meanwhile, the Kazakh government has insisted to the UN it has checked that none was tortured in prison in Uzbekistan.
However, that same government was condemned by the United Nations Committee Against Torture for sending back to Uzbekistan 29 Muslim asylum seekers who alleged they would face torture.
For more information about Forum 18 go to www.forum18.org