On 7 May, Tashkent City Court convicted Bobomurod Abdullayev of attempting to overthrow the constitutional order of Uzbekistan and issued him with a non-custodial sentence. Bobomurod Abdullayev will have to serve 18 months of “correctional labour” (community service) and contribute 20 percent of his salary to the state during the same period. The court dropped all other charges against Bobomurod Abdullayev, and acquitted his three co-defendants. In his first interview after his release, Bobomurod Abdullayev explained to independent news website, Ferghana.ru that he would not appeal against the sentence.
An Amnesty International delegation was able to meet Bobmurod Abdullayev, his wife and mother, in Tashkent on 24 May. He said, ‘‘For seven and a half months in the dungeons, I felt the support of my fellow journalists and human rights activists, representatives of state and non-governmental organizations. It was nice to see representatives of the US, UK and EU embassies at my trial. The fact that I am free now is largely due to this support. My case once again showed how important solidarity and attention are in protecting the freedom of speech and human rights. I admire your noble work and boundless courage, dear activists.’’
Bobomurod Abdullayev, an independent journalist and sports commentator, was detained by State Security Service (SNB) officers in Tashkent on 27 September 2017 for allegedly attempting to overthrow the constitutional order of the Republic of Uzbekistan. SNB officers accused him of writing seditious articles under a pseudonym. Bobomurod Abdullayev admitted in March 2018 that he had used a pseudonym to publish critical articles, but that he was not the author of materials calling for violence.
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