Rights groups call for an investigation into claims jailed journalists Hayot Nasriddinov, left, and Bobomurod Abdullaev, were tortured and mistreated in Uzbekistan. (AsiaTerra/Fergananews)

CPJ joins call for Uzbekistan to investigate claims jailed journalists were tortured

By Gulnoza Said/CPJ Europe and Central Asia Research Associate on February 14, 2018 1:48 PM ET

The Committee to Protect Journalists today joined a coalition of 11 other international press freedom and human rights advocacy groups, in calling on Uzbek authorities to conduct an investigation into allegations of torture and ill-treatment of jailed journalists Bobomurod Abdullaev and Hayot Nasriddinov. The coalition, led by Human Rights Watch, called for the journalists to be released.

Abdullaev, a freelancer who reported for the independent regional website Fergana, the London-based Institute for War and Peace Reporting, and other outlets, was detained in Tashkent on September 27, 2017 on charges of "conspiracy to overthrow the constitutional regime" and faces up to 20 years in prison, if convicted. His relatives told representatives of several human rights groups earlier this month that Abdullaev told them he was tortured and ill-treated in detention.

Nasriddinov, a blogger and economist, was arrested in October on extremism charges that appear to be related to the charges against Abdullaev. Nasriddinov similarly faces up to 20 years in prison and, the joint statement said, there are serious concerns that he may have been tortured or ill-treated in detention. As of late 2017, his relatives had not been informed of the grounds for the arrest, and there are fears that they are under pressure not to talk to journalists and human rights groups, according to the joint statement and CPJ research.

To read the joint statement, click here.

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