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Dilorom Abduqodirova
A court in the eastern Uzbek city of Andijon has sentenced Dilorom Abduqodirova to 10 years and two months in prison for her alleged role in deadly protests five years ago, RFE/RL's Uzbek Service reports.

Abduqodirova, 44, was among at least 400 refugees from Uzbekistan who were evaluated by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) following the bloody government suppression of a demonstration in Andijon in May 2005 during which hundreds of people were killed.

Adbuqodirova, a housewife with four children, emigrated to Australia but returned to Uzbekistan on January 7 and was arrested at the Tashkent airport.

She was released five days later but arrested again in March and charged with illegally exiting and entering the country, infringing on the constitution, and taking part in a mass uprising.

An observant Muslim who wore head scarves, Abduqodirova appeared bare-headed in court on April 29 when she pleaded guilty to the charges. Her relatives noted that Abduqodirova appeared extremely upset and exhausted at the trial and would not look at them while in court.

Abduqodirova's brother, Muhammadjon Muminov, alleges she was drugged or tortured to confess to the crimes that he said she did not commit.

She was sentenced by the court today.
Oksana Makushina (left), deputy editor in chief of "Respublika," and Tatyana Trubacheva, the editor in chief of "Golos Respubliki"
The websites of two Kazakh opposition newspapers became inaccessible to Internet users in Kazakhstan today, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

"Respublika" chief editor Anastasiya Novikova and "Golos Respubliki" editor Tatyana Trubacheva told journalists in Almaty that their sites are available only through proxy servers. They said people using the state KazakhTeleCom as their Internet service provider are unable to access them.

The editors said the disruption of accessibility to their websites is politically motivated. The two newspapers have since started placing all of their online content on the social networking website Facebook.

Tamara Kaleeva is the chairwoman of the Almaty-based nongovernmental organization Adil Soz, which monitors the media and journalists rights in Kazakhstan. She said that although KazakhTeleCom is trying to convince rights activists and journalists that the lack of access to the two websites is a technical problem, "it is clear that the whole situation is connected to the content that is published in the newspapers."

The two publications are known for publishing articles critical of the government.

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.

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