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OSCE Slams Trial Of Tajik Journalist

Tajik journalist Mahmadyusuf Ismoilov
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) today criticized Tajikistan over the trial of a journalist who wrote articles critical of local authorities in the Central Asian country.

The OSCE said in a statement that reporter Makhmadyusuf Ismoilov of the independent "Nuri Zindagi" weekly has been indicted for criminal libel and insulting public officials, extortion, and incitement of "regional hatred."

Prosecutors are seeking a 16-year jail sentence for the 51-year-old, who has been in custody since November 2010.

Ismoilov has criticized alleged abuses in the northern region of Soghd.

OSCE media freedom representative Dunja Mijatovic called for his immediate release, calling his detention "a threatening message to Tajikistan's journalists."

Another case involving BBC reporter Urunbay Usmonov, who is accused of failing to provide details about the banned Islamic organization Hiz ut-Tahrir, is ongoing.

He faces a five-year sentence if convicted.

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