OSCE hails release of Tajik journalists
Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 18 / Trend , G.Dadashova /
OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovic welcomed the release from custody of two Tajik journalists convicted on charges resulting from their professional activities, and called for their acquittal, the structure reported.
"I am relieved that Mahmadyusuf Ismoilov and Urunboi Usmonov were released from custody. However, I remain concerned that they were convicted on criminal charges. Both journalists were sentenced for their independent reporting on issues of public interest and I hope their appeals will be successful and they will be soon cleared of all charges," Mijatovic said.
Earlier on Oct.14, a Tajik court found Ismoilov, a reporter with the Nuri Zindagi weekly, guilty of criminal libel, insult, extortion and inciting to "regional hatred." The court also ruled that Ismoilov, who had been in custody since November 2010, be set free immediately.
Another court in northern Sugdh Province sentenced BBC reporter Usmonov to 3 years in jail on charges of participation in the activities of a banned organization and ruled that he be amnestied.
Both journalists deny the accusations levelled against them and say they will appeal the verdicts.
"I will continue to follow the cases of Ismoilov and Usmonov and I remain hopeful that they will soon be able to resume their professional activities," Mijatovic said.