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Rights Group Concerned About Jailed Ethnic Uzbek Journalists


A board in the southern Kyrgyz city of Osh displays pictures of ethnic Uzbek men killed during the ethnic clashes in June.

A board in the southern Kyrgyz city of Osh displays pictures of ethnic Uzbek men killed during the ethnic clashes in June.

The media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has expressed concern over two ethnic Uzbek journalists held in detention since the ethnic clashes in Kyrgyzstan's southern city of Jalal-Abad in June, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

RSF said in a press release that Ulugbek Abdusalomov, editor of the independent newspaper "Diydo," faces charges of extremism, inciting interethnic hatred, organizing and participating in mass unrest, and separatism.

He has been transferred to a prison hospital with heart problems, where he is under constant police surveillance.

Azimzhan Askarov, a reporter for the website "Rights For All," has been charged with inciting demonstrators to violence. He has allegedly been beaten in detention.

Amnesty International has designated both men prisoners of conscience.

At least 379 people were killed and hundreds of thousands fled their homes during clashes between ethnic Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in the southern regions of Osh and Jalal-Abad from June 10-14.
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