Uzbekistan: Russian journalist convicted, pardoned

The editor of the website, Russian Vladimir Berezovskiy, has been found guilty of slander and insult and pardoned without sentencing by Tashkent’s Yakkasaray district court.

Berezovskiy believes the case against him was cooked up and the trial has been accompanied by numerous violations. For example, Justice Nodyr Akrabov barred Danis Bashirov, an official from the Russian embassy in Uzbekistan, from the hearing, saying the diplomat needed permission from the Supreme Court.

During the hearing Berezovskiy’s lawyer Sergei Mayorov had to challenge the court as it had rejected several important motions from the defence.

Turkey: Kurdish politician sentenced

The co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party has been convicted of ‘propaganda for an illegal organisation’ and handed a ten-month prison sentence.

Selahattin Demitras was punished for making a statement about the detention conditions of Abdullah Ocalan, the leader of the militant Kurdistan Workers Party, imprisoned in 1999.

Demitras’s lawyer Meral Danis Bestas said that her client’s statement should be evaluated in the context of the right to freedom of expression.