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RFE/RL Correspondent Released From Uzbek Prison

Nosir Zokirov (file photo) (RFE/RL) PRAGUE, 27 February 2006 (RFE/RL) -- An RFE/RL correspondent has been released from an Uzbek prison after serving six months for insulting a member of the security forces.

Nosir Zokirov was summoned to court in the eastern city of Namangan on 26 August and tried without the presence of a defense counsel or without the possibility of cross-examining witnesses. He was sent directly to prison.

He was released on 26 February in good condition.

In an interview to RFE/RL's Uzbek Service, Zokirov said he was not mistreated.

"I wasn't beaten, and I didn't experience any kind of ill treatment -- either while I was at the [National Security Service] or in prison," Zokirov said. "They treat people like me differently."

Zokirov said he had felt "really isolated" and that he had received no information about his family. " I was concerned about my colleagues and family, but I couldn't get any information," he said.

The case was brought against Zokirov after an angry telephone exchange on 6 August with police in Namangan, in which Zokirov protested attempts to pressure a local poet, Kaidarali Khomulov, to lie about a broadcast interview he gave to Zokirov.

Zokirov had previously been summoned on a number of occasions to the local police station because of his reporting on the government crackdown on violent demonstrations in May 2005 in the city of Andijon.

Aftermath Of Andijon

Aftermath Of Andijon

A dedicated webpage bringing together all of RFE/RL's coverage of the events in Andijon, Uzbekistan, in May 2005 and their continuing repercussions.


An annotated timeline of the Andijon events and their repercussions.