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'Missing' Uzbek Journalist Jailed For 12 Days

Independent journalist Sergei Naumov
The Europe-based Human Rights for Central Asia Association says an Uzbek journalist missing since September 21 has been sentenced to 12 days in jail.

The association's chairwoman, Nadezhda Atayeva, said Sergei Naumov was arrested by police in his native city of Urgench in western Uzbekistan and sentenced for assaulting a woman.

Atayeva placed a copy of the court's ruling on her website.

Naumov, whose right to have a lawyer at his hearing was violated, pleaded not guilty, saying the case is politically motivated.

Naumov is known for his reporting from mandatory cotton-picking sites in Uzbekistan.

His family and friends had lost touch with Naumov after his arrest.

Atayeva said Naumov was only able to get a lawyer on September 24, three days after his conviction.

Based on reporting by and