Saodat Omonova and Malohat Eshankulova declared a hunger strike on June 27 outside the presidential offices in Tashkent and demanded a meeting with President Islam Karimov. Police promptly arrested them and whisked them away. They were each fined the equivalent of 1,500 US dollars – a massive sum in Uzbekistan – for breach of the peace and holding a public meeting without authorisation.
Their conflict with state TV, where they worked for the Yoshlar (Youth) channel, began last September with an unprecedented open letter alleging that managers censored journalistic output ahead of broadcasts. (See: Uzbekistan: Uzbek TV Reporters Protest Censorship.)
In December, they were dismissed from the channel after they staged a protest. They say they were driven to mount their latest action after they were persecuted by the intelligence service and stripped of their residence rights in Tashkent….
- British gold miner accuses Uzbekistan of smear campaign (theglobeandmail.com)
- Daughter of Uzbek Dictator Loses Defamation Case in Paris (thoolen.wordpress.com)
- HRW lambasts Kazakhstan for expulsion of refugees (sfgate.com)