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A board in the southern Kyrgyz city of Osh displays pictures of ethnic Uzbek men killed during the ethnic clashes in June.
The media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has expressed concern over two ethnic Uzbek journalists held in detention since the ethnic clashes in Kyrgyzstan's southern city of Jalal-Abad in June, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

RSF said in a press release that Ulugbek Abdusalomov, editor of the independent newspaper "Diydo," faces charges of extremism, inciting interethnic hatred, organizing and participating in mass unrest, and separatism.

He has been transferred to a prison hospital with heart problems, where he is under constant police surveillance.

Azimzhan Askarov, a reporter for the website "Rights For All," has been charged with inciting demonstrators to violence. He has allegedly been beaten in detention.

Amnesty International has designated both men prisoners of conscience.

At least 379 people were killed and hundreds of thousands fled their homes during clashes between ethnic Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in the southern regions of Osh and Jalal-Abad from June 10-14.
Mohammad Nourizad in 2008
Iranian filmmaker and journalist Mohammad Nourizad has been summoned to Evin prison two months after having been released, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

Nourizad told RFE/RL in a phone interview before he went back to prison on August 18 that he was called by officials and told to return to Evin prison as soon as possible.

Nourizad was arrested late last year after publishing several open letters on his blog that were deemed disrespectful to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other senior officials.

He was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison and 50 lashes on unclear charges, but released from prison on June 24.

He recently wrote another public letter on his blog that was addressed to Khamenei.

Nourizad said he was returning to prison because "Iran is beautiful" and he loved his country. It's not clear why he was summoned by officials.

"We all try to regain those beauties that have been taken away from our people. We are demanding a peaceful transformation, changing things in society that have been away from beauty for a while," he said.

Nourizad said he thought he was asked to return to prison because of the latest letter he addressed to Khamenei. But he said there was nothing unusual in the letter. He believes the questions he posed to Khamenei are fully acceptable according to Islamic traditions.

"I wrote the kindest letter to my dear supreme leader," Nourizad told RFE/RL. "I addressed some of his behavior, decisions, and mistakes. I told him that on 'judgment day,' [Khamenei] will answer for all his mistakes and incorrect policies," he said.

Nourizad said he might be beaten when he returns to prison.

"Yes, it is possible that I will be beaten as they did before," he said. "They will show contempt for me as they did before. It is possible that they will push my head into a toilet and kick my body, as they did to some of my friends in prison. If we want to reform our society, we have to pay the cost."

Nourizad formerly worked for the conservative newspaper "Kayhan" and said he fully supported Khamenei until the conflict surrounding last year's controversial presidential election caused him to speak out against the government.

He has called on Khamenei to dismiss President Mahmud Ahmadinejad.

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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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