Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

CPJ Decries Charges On Extremism Against Journalists in Kyrgyzstan

Posted by Info on 13/08/2010

Trumped-up charges of extremism against Ulugbek Abdusalomov, the editor of an independent newspaper, and Azimjon Askarov, a journalist and human rights defender, should be dropped immediately, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Prosecutors charged Abdusalomov, editor of the Uzbek-language newspaper Diydor, and Askarov, head of local human rights group Vozdukh and a contributor to the regional news website Voice of Freedom, with extremism, incitement to ethnic hatred, calls to mass disorder, and complicity to murder….

If convicted, both men face lengthy prison terms. Local and international human rights and press freedom groups, including CPJ, have urged Kyrgyz authorities to release Abdusalomov and Askarov, saying that they are being held in retaliation for reporting on the humanitarian crisis and human rights abuses in southern Kyrgyzstan.

Abdusalomov’s paper had reported on issues facing the Uzbek minority in southern Kyrgyzstan the social and political disadvantages facing the Uzbek community.

Askarov for his role in documenting failures by police to stop human rights abuses in the southern village of Bazar-Korgon. Askarov has long been at odds with Jalal-Abad police because of his past reporting on torture of police detainees.
Askarov was reportedly beaten in custody.. Askarov’s lawyer was himself attacked while visiting his client at the detention facility.

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