A Uzbekistani court’s decision to release journalist Bobomurod Abdullayev is a glimmer of hope for the country’s beleaguered journalists, and must be followed by concrete reforms to respect, protect and promote the right to freedom of expression, Amnesty International said today.
Tashkent City Court ordered the release of Bobomurod Abdullayev, who was sentenced to 1,5 years of community service. His three co-defendants, blogger Khayotkhan Nasreddinov and businessmen Shavkat Olloyorov and Ravshan Salayev, were acquitted, as reported by Uzbekistani human rights defender Sukrat Ikramov.
“Bobomurod Abdullayev’s has already paid a terrible price for his independent journalism, spending seven months in Uzbekistan’s most notorious detention centre where he was allegedly tortured to confess to trumped up charges. There must now be a thorough, impartial and independent investigation into these allegations, which are alarmingly commonplace in Uzbekistan,” said Denis Krivosheev, Deputy Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia at Amnesty International.