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Jailed Uzbek Journalist's Family Dies In Auto Accident

Feruza Jumanova (left), the wife of jailed Uzbek journalist Dilmurod Sayyid, and his daughter Rukhshona
The family of jailed Uzbek journalist and human rights activist Dilmurod Sayyid died in a car accident on their way to visit him in prison, RFE/RL's Uzbek Service reports.

Sayyid's lawyer, Rukhiddin Komilov, told RFE/RL that Sayyid's wife, Barno Jumanova, and their 6-year-old daughter died in an accident on the way from Tashkent to Navoi, where Sayyid is serving his prison sentence.

Sayyid, 48, was sentenced on July 30 to 12 1/2 years in jail on extortion and forgery charges, which he denied and said were politically motivated.

He was an outspoken critic of the human rights situation in Uzbekistan and was under pressure from officials since 2005 when he sharply criticized rights violations in the country in an article in the newspaper "Advokat-press."

The newspaper was shut down in 2005.

Sayyid's lawyer, family, and supporters said the charges against him were trumped up for political reasons and several human rights organizations expressed concern at his arrest and subsequent sentencing.