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US Envoy to Uzbekistan Urges Release of Detained Journalist

TASHKENT—The U.S. ambassador to Uzbekistan has urged the Central Asian nation and its neighbour Kyrgyzstan to set free an Uzbek journalist detained on suspicion of anonymously criticizing the government on social media.

Western governments have rarely criticized Uzbekistan since President Shavkat Mirziyoyev came to power in late 2016, praising him for opening up the previously isolated nation of 34 million and releasing some prominent dissidents from prison.

But the U.S. ambassador to Tashkent, Daniel Rosenblum, expressed concerns over the case of Bobomurod Abdullayev, who was detained this month in Kyrgyzstan at Uzbekistans request.

“I am deeply concerned by reports that Kyrgyz authorities have detained Bobomurod Abdullayev, an Uzbekistani journalist, at the request of the Government of Uzbekistan. We are closely following his case,” Rosenblum said in a statement on Twitter.

1/3 I am deeply concerned by reports that Kyrgyz authorities have detained Bobomurod Abdullayev, an Uzbekistani journalist, at the request of the Government of Uzbekistan. We are closely following his case. https://t.co/UZ5yDmChHn

— U.S. Ambassador to Uzbekistan (@UsAmbUzbekistan) August 13, 2020

Abdullayev has told Kyrgyz media he was accused of being behind an anonymous Facebook account which published allegations of corruption among senior Uzbek officials. Uzbekistan is now seeking his extradition.

“The governments of both Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan should respect Mr. Abdullayevs freedom of movement and allow him to depart the Kyrgyz Republic to his destination of choice,” Rosenblum wrote on Twitter late on Thursday.

2/3 The Governments of both Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan should respect Mr. Abdullayevs freedom of movement and allow him to depart the Kyrgyz Republic to his destination of choice. https://t.co/YbgA9HGoqP

— U.S. Ambassador to Uzbekistan (@UsAmbUzbekistan) August 13, 2020Read More – Source

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