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Uzbek Human Rights Activist Jailed For 12 Years

Dilmurod Sayyid
Dilmurod Sayyid
SAMARKAND, Uzbekistan -- Uzbek human rights activist Dilmurod Sayyid has been sentenced to 12 1/2 years in jail, RFE/RL's Uzbek Service reports.

The Toyloq district court in the Samarkand region found Sayid, 48, guilty of extortion and forgery.

Abdurakhmon Tashanov, a colleague of Sayyid's who defended him at the trial, told RFE/RL that neither the defendant's relatives nor his lawyers were allowed to be present in the courtroom when the verdict was announced.

The court said they were kept out for "security reasons."

Tashanov said Sayyid was sentenced for his professional activities as a human rights activist and journalist.

He had worked for the newspaper "Advokat Press" until an article he wrote that was critical of the government was published and the newspaper was shut down in 2005.