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CPJ Says Uzbekistan Harassing Former RFE/RL Reporter

(RFE/RL) August 3, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is calling on Uzbek authorities to stop harrassing Nosir Zokirov, a former RFE/RL correspondent who served six months in jail last year on what the media watchdog calls "specious charges."

In a statement, the CPJ says Uzbek security officers last month raided Zokirov's home in the eastern city of Namangan and confiscated his belongings, allegedly because his son had failed to pay a fine in a separate case.

The CPJ calls on Uzbek authorities to immediately return the seized property to Zokirov.

An Uzbek court last year convicted Zokirov on charges of insulting a security officer.

While he was in prison, his son Zahrid was detained and fined $770 for allegedly trying to cross the border into Kyrgyzstan.

In December 2005, the Uzbek government refused to prolong the accreditation under which RFE/RL had been operating an office in Tashkent since 1996.


Faces And Voices

Faces And Voices
WE WERE THERE: RFE/RL correspondent Gulnoza Saidazimova visited a group Andijon refugees in the Czech town of Straz pod Ralskem and spoke to them about their recollections of the May 2005 violence and their lives since. (Photographs by G. Saidazimova)

ZUHRA, aged 33: "On 13 May, I learned what APCs [armoured personnel carriers] and kalashnikovs were."

MOMINA, aged 29: "I called my parents twice from here. The second time they said: 'We are scared to talk to you. Our neighbor also received a phone call [from a relative who was granted asylum abroad]. Then the police came and beat him up.'"

ODINA, aged 34: "I saw a woman with bullet wound in the back. From behind, we could see her hearting. It was beating. She was begging: 'Call the doctor. I don't want to die.' Later, in Kyrgyzstan, we heard she had died. "

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


For an annotated timeline of the Andijon events and their repercussions, click here.

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