Journalist and human rights activist Umida Niyazova (Courtesy Photo)
May 9, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- International human rights groups have expressed relief following the release from jail of Uzbek journalist and rights activist Umida Niyazova.
Her seven-year prison sentence, handed down last week, was commuted on May 8 to a three-year suspended sentence.
Niyazova had been charged with illegal border crossing, smuggling, and fostering unrest with the help of foreign funding. The sentence was lightened after Niyazova pled guilty and condemned her former employer.
Freedom House said Niyazova's detention was solely due to her work.
Human Rights Watch says at least 14 other rights defenders remain in custody in Uzbekistan on politically motivated charges.