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Uzbek Rights Defender In Disciplinary Cell

(RFE/RL) PRAGUE, October 24, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- A close relative and lawyer of Mutabar Tojiboeva says the jailed Uzbek rights campaigner and Nobel Peace Prize nominee is being kept in solitary confinement.

Muharram Tojiboeva told RFE/RL's Uzbek Service she tried to visit her sister today at the Tashkent women's prison colony where she is serving an eight-year jail term.

She said prison officials told her that her 44-year-old sister and one of her codetainees were being kept in a disciplinary cell.

She said her sister is accused of undermining Uzbekistan's constitutional order.

An independent Uzbek website,, on October 16 reported that Mutabar Tojiboeva had managed to pass a note to relatives in which she said her health was deteriorating and that she was suffering from hunger.

A rights activist from the eastern Ferghana Region, Mutabar Tojiboeva was arrested in October 2005 as she was preparing to attend an international conference in Dublin, Ireland.

In March, a court sentenced her on charges of blackmail, charges her relatives say were fabricated.

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