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CPJ Calls For Release Of Jailed Reporters In Central Asia

Journalist and jailed human rights activist Solijon Abdurahmanov in an undated photo
WASHINGTON -- The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has urged world leaders to "hold Central Asian regimes responsible for denying global access to information by throwing critical reporters behind bars."

CPJ Eurasia researcher Muzaffar Suleymanov made the call at a briefing of the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and repeated in a subsequent CPJ statement.

Suleymanov highlighted the cases of Muhammad Bekjanov and Yusuf Ruzimuradov of the Uzbek opposition newspaper “Erk,” who have been in jail since 1999.

In Kyrgyzstan, Suleymanov also cited the case of Kyrgyz journalist Azimjon Askarov, who is serving a life sentence handed to him in 2010 after his investigative reporting ended the careers of several regional prosecutors and police officers.