Uzbekistan: Growing concern over targeting of independent journalists

A number of incidents in the last few weeks have raised concerns over the harassment of journalists in Uzbekistan. On 26 March, independent journalist Viktor Krymzalov was convicted of defamation for an article which was published without a byline. The plaintiff “assumed” it was written by Krymzalov, but no evidence was provided to support the claim. Journalist Elena Bondar was charged with  with “inciting national, racial, ethnic or religious hatred,” after sending letters to the media about alleged government harassment. Novaya Gazeta journalist Victoria Ivleva was recently denied entry to the country.

Uzbekistan: Journalist detained at airport

Uzbek journalist Elena Bondar was detained at the arrivals area of Tashkent airport after attending a course on modern journalism tools organised by OSCE and Deutsche Welle in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.  After a thorough examination of her documents and baggage, customs officials let the journalist go home, but confiscated CDs and USB flash drives with training materials.