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Uzbek Journalist Transferred To New Prison After U.S. Calls

Uzbek journalist and rights activist Dilmurod Sayyid
Uzbek rights activist and journalist Dilmurod Sayyid (a.k.a. Saidov) has been transferred out of a maximum-security prison after several U.S. senators called on Uzbek authorities to free him.

Sayyid's brother Obid told RFE/RL's Uzbek Service that Sayyid's move from the harsh Navoi prison in central Uzbekistan to a regular prison closer to Tashkent took place earlier this month.

Several U.S. senators, including Republican John McCain of Arizona, recently wrote to the Uzbek government urging that Sayyid and two other activists and journalists be released from prison.

Sayyid, a member of the Tashkent branch of the Ezgulik human rights society, was convicted in 2009 of extortion and forgery and sentenced to 12 1/2 years in prison.

His closed trial was heavily criticized by international rights organizations for procedural violations.

Sayyid's brother, Obid, called the transfer to a Tashkent prison a "sign of hope."