Seriously Ill Uzbek Journalist Remains Detained
International PEN calls for the release, pending a fair trial, of Kyrgyzstan-based Uzbek journalist Ulugbek Abdusalamov, who has been detained on charges related to his writings since June 14, 2010. International human rights groups and free press organizations report that he is being held in retaliation for reporting on human rights abuses in southern Kyrgyzstan. Abdusalamov is in extremely poor health and there are mounting concerns that his continued imprisonment puts his life at risk.
Ulugbek Abdusalomov, chief editor of the independent newspaper Diydor, was arrested on June 14 following the inter-ethnic violence that occurred in Jalal-Abad during the months of May and June. On the day of his arrest, his car was blocked by another car without license plates, and men wearing camouflage took him to the regional headquarters of the Kyrgyz Security Service. There, he was detained in connection with the May 12-15 protests by ethnic Uzbeks in Jalal-Abad, which had sparked violent retaliation from the ethnic Kyrgyz population. According to his colleagues, however, Abdusalomov was actually in the capital, Bishkek, at the time of the protests, and was taking part in meetings of the government-sponsored Constitutional Council. An official transcript of the meeting confirms this.
In August, Abdusalomov was charged with "organizing and participating in mass disorder, promoting separatism, and incitement of ethnic hatred" because of an article he had published in Diydor. This article quoted Uzbeks saying that they had suffered ethnic discrimination in southern Kyrgyzstan. Abdusalomov’s trial date is yet to be announced.
Abdusalamov is seriously ill and is not receiving adequate medical assistance. In 2009 he suffered a cerebral haemorrhage. He also suffers from high blood pressure, stomach ailments and a heart condition. He requires constant medical care. He has been repeatedly transferred back and forth between the regional hospital and his pre-trial detention center, where conditions are reportedly very poor.
Write A Letter
- Calling for the Kyrgyzstan-based Uzbek journalist, Ulugbek Abdusalamov, to be freed pending a fair trial;
- Calling for the immediate provision of adequate medical attention for Ulugbek Abdusalamov;
- Calling on the Kyrgyz government to allow journalists to carry out their work without fear of harassment or obstruction by the authorities.
Send Your Letter To
Minister of Internal Affairs
Frunze Street, 469
Fax: +996 312 68 20 44
Email: [email protected]
72, Orozbekova Street
Fax: +996 312 66 54 11
Email: [email protected]
President of the Kyrgyz Republic
Fax: + 996 312 62 50 12
Please also send a copy of your appeals to the diplomatic representative for Kyrgyzstan in your country if possible.
Please check with PEN if sending appeals after October 31, 2010: ftw [at] pen.org