Human rights defender Saidzhakhon Zainabitdinov was released on February 4 under a presidential amnesty. He had been serving a seven-year sentence, handed down in January 2006 after what was in effect a secret trial. He was indicted for libel, "information dissemination fomenting the panic" and "terrorism." Prior to his imprisonment, Saidzhakhon Zainabitdinov was monitoring protests in the town of Andizhan which escalated on May 12-13, 2005. During the information blockade that engulfed Uzbekistan in the aftermath of the protests, messages from Saidjahon Zainabitdinov were forwarded to the leading world news agencies, TV channels, radio stations and newspapers.
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Saudi Arabia: Release Dr Zuhair Kutbi (UA 188/15)
Prominent Saudi Arabian writer Dr Zuhair Kutbi has been detained without charge since 15 July. He was beaten during arrest and is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment. He is in need of medical attention. He is a prisoner of conscience.
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