Human rights group demands release of Uzbek journalist

Caravanserai

TASHKENT -- A human rights group is urging Uzbekistan to release detained journalist Bobomurod Abdullayev, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported Monday (October 2).

Abdullayev, a Tashkent resident, reportedly has been held incommunicado for several days.

The Le Mans, France-based Association of Human Rights in Central Asia, is seeking Abdullayev's "[immediate] release" and "free access to a defence of his choice", the NGO said in a Sunday (October 1) Russian-language statement.

Abdullayev's wife, Katya Balkhiboyeva, told RFE/RL of her husband's disappearance on September 27. Police told RFE/RL September 29 that Abdullayev is being held in connection with suspicion of theft.

Abdullayev is a sports journalist who founded the Ozod Ovoz (Free Voice) media project.

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