Ortikali Namazov

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Authorities convicted Namazov of embezzlement after he wrote several critical articles alleging regional government malfeasance in land management and fiscal auditing, local rights activists reported at the time. He was the editor of the state newspaper Pop Tongi and correspondent for the state newspaper Kishlok Khayoti.

Enraged by Namazov’s critique, authorities in the eastern region of Namangan opened a criminal probe against the journalist and his accountants, alleging misuse of newspaper funds and tax evasion. On August 4, 2004, the Turakurgan District Criminal Court in the Namangan region started proceedings.

The journalist said the case had been fabricated in retaliation for his reporting. According to local activists who monitored the trial, prosecutors failed to prove the charges and the judge did not allow Namazov to defend himself. His family reported that their home phone line was cut and that his daughter was suddenly dismissed from her job as a school doctor, Mutabar Tadjibaeva, a local rights activist, told CPJ.

The journalist was sentenced to five and a half years in jail, and his appeal was denied. He was serving his sentence at a prison in eastern Namangan.