JUNE 4, 2005
Posted: June 21, 2005

Tulkin Karayev, Institute for War and Peace Reporting


Authorities in the southern Uzbek city of Karshi detained, arrested, and sentenced Tulkin Karayev, a correspondent for the London-based Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), on charges of hooliganism.

On Saturday, June 4, an unknown woman attacked Karayev and human rights activist Gaybulla Djalilov, who was accompanying him, on the street in downtown Karshi, according to local press reports. When Karayev went to the local police station in Karshi to report the incident, he discovered that his female attacker had already declared herself the victim of the attack.

Without due process, police detained Karayev and arrested him on charges of hooliganism. A local court then sentenced the journalist to 10 days in prison, IWPR reported. IWPR produces a news Web site and trains journalists in conflict zones around the world.

Before the incident, Karayev had complained of an increased surveillance of his apartment by security services. He also said that security service agents had approached his family and friends, IWPR reported.

On June 2, Karayev informed the IWPR London office that a car without license plates had been surveying his house for several days, IWPR Central Asia Editor Filip Noubel told CPJ in a telephone interview.

Karayev is one of the few independent journalists who covered the May 13 unrest in the northeast city of Andigian, during which security forces opened fire on anti-government protesters, killing 500 civilians, according to international press and human rights reports. Uzbek authorities claim that fewer than 200 people were killed.

Since the unrest, the Uzbek state media has severely criticized independent journalists such as Karayev. A May 25 article in the Uzbek-state newspaper Pravda Vostoka, titled “In defense of the national sovereignty of the Uzbek people,” called Uzbekistan IWPR correspondents “enemies of the state” and called for the dissemination of their names and photos on national television.