The journalists were arrested on charges of ‘conspiracy to overthrow’ the regime; Nasriddinov was acquitted of all charges, Abdullaev was found guilty of “extremism” and given a three-year suspended sentence.
Despite some encouraging signs that the president might be in favour of some press freedom, journalists continue to be targeted.
Yusuf Ruzimuradov was released in late February after serving 19 years in jail on ‘anti-state’ charges.
Uzbek authorities must ensure an impartial investigation into the alleged torture of detained journalist Bobomurod Abdullaev; he and other journalists jailed for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression should be freed immediately.
PEN International is extremely concerned about the well-being of Uzbek journalist Bobomurod Abdullaev, who was detained by the National Security Services in Tashkent on 27 September 2017. Abdullaev is detained at the notorious pre-trial detention centre of the National Security Services, which has a long, harrowing track record of torture.
Erkin Musaev had been imprisoned since 2006 and was granted early release on orders of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
Uzbek journalist and asylum-seeker Khodoberdi Nurmatov faces a risk of ill-treatment, including torture, if Russia returns him to Uzbekistan, Human Rights Watch said.
The Uzbek government is urged to immediately allow an independent investigation into the enforced disappearance and death in prison of a human rights and opposition activist, Nuraddin Jumaniyazov.
Rustam Usmanov, a peaceful political activist imprisoned arbitrarily in Uzbekistan for 19 years and brutally tortured, was finally freed on 13 February 2017, at the end of his prison term.
Muhammad Bekjanov – an Uzbek journalist who tried to initiate debate on taboo subjects such as the use of forced labour in the cotton harvest – has been placed in solitary confinement. The journalist has been in prison for 17 years, and the move could be a sign that the government is preparing to extend his prison term yet again.
Uzbekistan’s Islam Karimov has passed on. But his legacy of repression, torture, massacres and slavery will impact millions of people for decades.
The United States, European Union, and other international actors should renew their calls for accountability by the Uzbek government 11 years after the Andijan massacre, Human Rights Watch said today. Uzbek government forces killed hundreds of mainly peaceful protesters in the eastern city of Andijan on May 13, 2005.
Germany’s foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, is visiting Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. He should press for an end to human rights abuses abuses when he meets the presidents and other politicians and speak publicly about specific abuses, including the jailing of activists in all three countries.
One of the world’s longest imprisoned peaceful political activists, Murod Juraev, was finally released from a jail in Uzbekistan on November 12, 2015, after 21 unjustified years behind bars.