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Uzbek Women Jailed After Trying To Meet With President

Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoev
Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoev

TASHKENT -- Six Uzbek women were jailed after they tried to approach President Shavkat Mirziyoev to complain about problems they and their families have encountered with police and prosecutors.

Tashkent-based rights defender Tatyana Dovlatova told RFE/RL on July 25 that 30 women were detained on July 23 after they gathered in front of the presidential office.

Six of the women were later convicted of minor hooliganism and sentenced to 15 days in jail. The others were released after about six hours in the Yakka Saroy district police department.

The Yakka Saroy police did not respond to RFE/RL's request for comment.

Dovlatova told RFE/RL the women wanted to meet with the president to talk about ordeals faced by their family members in police custody and penitentiaries, as well as other issues.

Since taking over the Central Asian country in 2016 following the death of his authoritarian predecessor, Islam Karimov, Mirziyoev has called for more openness and closer ties between officials and ordinary people.

Mirziyoev opened an online "virtual office" to enable people to convey their problems.

Although the government has claimed the virtual office was effectively helping resolve citizens' problems, Dovlatova said the women decided to meet with the president directly after they were unable to register with the online system.

Mirziyoev's press service refused to comment, telling RFE/RL that it had no information regarding the jailed women.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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