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Tajikistan: BBC correspondent tells court he was tortured while detained

Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has reiterated its call to the judicial authorities to drop all charges against BBC correspondent Urinboy Usmonov, whose trial began on August 16 in the northern city of Khujand.

“Usmonov’s claims of being tortured while in detention are shocking,” RSF said. “They must be the subject of a serious investigation and those responsible should be punished. Unfortunately this is just the latest in a long list of irregularities since his arrest on 13 June, including denial of defence rights for a long period, statements obtained under duress and lack of evidence. His acquittal is the only way the authorities can emerge from this without completely discrediting themselves.”

The BBC reported on August 19 that during last week’s hearings, Usmonov said he had been burned with lit cigarettes and beaten while detained.

After his arrest on June 13, he was initially accused of being a member of the outlawed Islamist party Hizb-ut-Tahrir. Now he is charged with being in contact with Hizb-ut-Tahrir without telling the authorities.

Date posted: August 23, 2011 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 25