Uzbek police detained blogger Nafosat Olloshukurova in September 2019. A judge found her guilty of hooliganism and participating in unauthorized protests, and sentenced her to 10 days in detention. A week after the sentence, the court ordered her to be placed in a psychiatric clinic, where she remains, without contact with her family.
On September 23, 2019, police officers detained Olloshukurova in Urgench, in western Uzbekistan, in relation to an investigation opened by the Khorezm regional branch of the Ministry of Interior, according to her defense attorney, Umid Davlatov, who spoke to CPJ on the phone.
The day of her arrest, Olloshukurova appeared before a judge who found her guilty of petty hooliganism and participating in unauthorized assemblies, and sentenced her to 10 days of administrative arrest, according to the blogger’s mother, Holjon Davletova, who spoke to CPJ on the phone.
On September 26, the prosecutor’s office alleged that Ollashukurova was exhibiting abnormal psychiatric behavior, claiming that she has a “mental disorder,” and asked the court to place her under psychiatric care, according to news reports.
On September 30, 2019, the Urgench district civil court ordered Olloshukurova to be placed in the Khorezm regional psychiatric center, according to the blogger’s mother and those news reports.
Olloshukurova blogs on a Facebook page under the name Shabnam Olloshkurova, according to those reports. Her Facebook posts are critical of public authorities, including allegations of corruption and illegal demolitions, according to CPJ’s review of her page.
At the time of her arrest, Ollashukurova was documenting journalist and poet Mahmud Rajabov’s march to the capital, Tashkent, to petition Minister of Interior Pulat Babajanov to drop a criminal case against him, according to those reports. Rajabov was also sentenced to 10 days of administrative arrest for organizing the march, the Uzbek service of U.S. Congress-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported.
Olloshukurova’s mother told CPJ in late 2019 that she had not seen or been able to contact her daughter since September 23. She also said that police have harassed her and her other children, including by summoning the blogger’s siblings for questioning.
On November 28, 2019, the Khorezm regional civil court denied the journalist’s appeal for release and, after hearing testimonies of the doctors of the psychiatric clinic, ruled for Olloshukurova to remain in the clinic for an unspecified period of time, according to a report by RFE/RL’s Uzbek Service. Olloshukurova said she would file a complaint to the Supreme Court, according to that report.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs did not respond to CPJ’s emailed request for comment in November 2019.