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Relatives Express Concern About Uzbek Rights Activist

(RFE/RL) October 16, 2006 -- Relatives say they are increasingly concerned about jailed Uzbek rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Mutabar Tojiboeva.

In comments reported today by an independent Uzbek information website, Tojiboeva's daughter says her 44-year-old mother managed to pass a note in which she says her health is deteriorating and she is suffering from hunger.

The website quotes other relatives as saying the detainee is being kept incommunicado at the Tashkent women's prison colony. Tojiboeva's lawyer claims her client is being administered antineurasthenic medication.

Uzbek prison officials earlier this year denied reports that Tojiboeva was being starved.

A rights activist from the eastern Ferghana region, Tojiboeva was arrested in October 2005 as she was preparing to take part in an international conference in Dublin.

In March, a court sentenced her to eight years in jail on blackmailing charges that relatives say were trumped up.


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