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Muscovites Rally For Uzbek Photographer Convicted Of Libel

Activists hold up photographs by Umida Ahmedova outside the Uzbek Embassy in Moscow.
MOSCOW -- Some 20 supporters of an award-winning Uzbek photographer found guilty of defamation held a rally outside the Uzbek Embassy in Moscow today, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

A Tashkent court on February 10 found Umida Ahmedova, 54, guilty of portraying her nation as "backward" in a collection of photographs and a documentary she made depicting people's lives in rural Uzbekistan.

Uzbek officials called the photographs and documentary "insulting" and "damaging to the country's image." The court granted Ahmedova amnesty after the verdict was announced. She could have been sentenced to six months in prison or up to two years in a labor camp.

Ahmedova told RFE/RL that although she left the courtroom a free woman, she did not do anything wrong and will appeal the verdict.