Thursday, August 11, 2005
Forum 18 reporter detained in Tashkent
Igor Rotar, Forum 18 News Service's Central Asia Correspondent, was this morning detained by the Uzbek authorities on arrival at Tashkent Airport. He is still being held by the Uzbek authorities, who are forcibly preventing him from communicating with anyone. Reliable sources indicate that the detention was ordered "for political reasons at the highest levels" and that the detention was carried out by the Immigration Service and Border Guards, on the instructions of the National Security Service secret police. The Uzbek authorities are refusing to comment on the case, but the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe and other international diplomats are following Igor Rotar's continuing detention closely.
Mr Rotar has written many articles on violations of religious freedom in Uzbekistan. His piece about the arrest of Jehovah's Witnesses was published on Forum 18's site just yesterday.