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Uzbek Police Detain Opposition Activist

The government of Uzbek President Islam Karimov has been harsh on oppositionists since a bloody crackdown in Andijon in May Tashkent, 28 August 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Uzbek police have detained an opposition member for allegedly distributing antigovernment information.

Nigara Khidoyatova, who heads Uzbekistan's unregistered opposition Free Peasants party, said party member Elena Urlaeva was arrested in Tashkent on 27 August.

Khidoyatova said Urlaeva was carrying literature about the Free Peasants party when she was detained. Urlaeva's detention comes amid an upsurge in detentions among activists and journalists following an uprising in May in eastern Uzbekistan that was crushed by government troops.

Western governments and international rights groups regularly criticize Uzbekistan -- a country with no officially registered opposition -- for its harsh treatment of dissent as well as its poor human-rights record.

(RFE/RL's Uzbek Service, AP)