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DUSHANBE -- A retired Tajik journalist says he has been deported from Uzbekistan on spurious grounds, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Hamid Atakhanov, 70, told RFE/RL on September 5 that on August 20 he was invited to the prosecutor's office in the central Uzbek city of Bukhara where he was told he is being deported from the country.

Atakhanov said the official explanation was that he is accused of igniting hatred between Tajiks and Uzbeks and also because he is active on environmental issues.

Atakhanov said the prosecutor showed him two letters sent by residents of Bukhara that led them to decide he must be deported. He said prosecutors did not give him enough time even to say goodbye to his family.

Atakhanov worked as a journalist for several different Tajik newspapers and for the Russian daily "Izvestiya." He lived for a number of years in Russia before moving to Bukhara in 2003 to take care of his ill wife.

Nuriddin Qarshiboev, the head of Tajikistan's National Association of Independent Journalists, said his organization has found a temporary home in Tajikistan for Atakhanov and is trying to find a job for him.

Atakhanov said he is going to ask human right organizations to help him get permission to return to Uzbekistan and care for his wife.
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