News Receive email alerts News UzbekistanEurope – Central Asia UzbekistanEurope – Central Asia Uzbek blogger facing possible 10-year jail term News Organisation October 9, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 First anniversary of journalist’s sentencing to 10 years in prison More than six years in prison for Uzbek blogger who covered corruption News One year ago tomorrow, a court in the western autonomous region of Karakalpakstan sentenced journalist Solidzhon Abdurakhmanov to 10 years in prison on a charge of “possession of drugs for the purpose of sale,” a sentence that was upheld a month later by the supreme court despite the inconsistencies of the prosecution case and complete lack of evidence against him.Now aged 59, Abdurakhmanov has been held since June 2008, when he was arrested on a charge of “consuming drugs” under article 276.2 of the criminal code. He has always denied either consuming or selling drugs.“On this anniversary, we appeal to the European authorities, to the representatives of each of the European Union member states and to the United States not to sacrifice human rights in Central Asia to the goal of energy security, especially as regards the dictatorship that is Uzbekistan,” Reporters Without Borders said.“Even if there have been some releases, they have been followed by new arrests,” the press freedom organisation continued. “We are obliged to point out that the pseudo-dialogue on human rights is only benefitting the Uzbek leaders. When they are not imprisoned, journalists, writers and human rights activists continue to live with a permanent threat hanging over them.”Reporters Without Borders added: “The immediate release of Solidzhon Abdurakhmanov and other Uzbek political prisoners should be one of the demands being made by our governments.”Everything about the arrest and trial of Abdurakhmanov suggests that the charges were trumped up, but not very well. The initial charge of consuming drugs was changed after medical tests showed he was not a drug user. He was then charged with possession for the purpose or sale. During the trial, he repeatedly requested a screening of the video the police had made of the entire process of his arrest and the search of his car, in the course of which the police claimed to have found drugs. The court refused.Many leading members of Uzbek civil society have spoken out in his defence but they have failed to sway the authorities. A human rights activist as well as a freelance journalist, Abdurakhmanov wrote for many foreign news media. He was also one of the founders of the Uzbek news website Uznews.net.The many other journalists, writers and human rights activists currently detained in Uzbekistan include the poet Jusuf Djuma and nine journalists – Dilmurod Sayid, Bakhrom Ibragimov, Davron Kabilov, Ravshanbek Vafoev, Abdulaziz Dadakhonov, Botyrbek Eshkuziev, Djamchid Karimov, Jusuf Ruzimuradov et Mohammed Bekjanov. Follow the news on Uzbekistan RSF_en May 11, 2021 Find out more to go further February 11, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information New press freedom predators elected to UN Human Rights Council October 15, 2020 Find out more
The businessman who was on Tuesday last intercepted at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) attempting to smuggle a large quantity of cocaine stashed in frozen fish was on Friday slapped with a narcotics trafficking charge.Thirty-year-old Amir Ally of Goed Fortuin, West Bank Demerara (WBD) appearedat the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts and denied that he attempted to ship 9.366 kg of cocaine.Amir AllyChief Magistrate Ann McLennan read the charge to Ally, which stated that he, on February 6, 2018, at Laparkan Cargo Shed, CJIA, attempted to traffic 9.366 kilograms of cocaine.Defence attorney Bernard DaSilva, in a bail application, told the court that the cocaine was not found in the possession of his client, but was found at the in the belly of the fishes.Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) Prosecutor Konyo Sandiford, however, revealed to the court that Ally was arrested after the discovery, and investigations revealed that he had been the shipper.Based on the seriousness of the offence, she objected to bail being granted Ally.Bail was refused Ally, and he was remanded to prison. The case will continue on March 7.