For the first time in the newest history of Uzbekistan, major businessman, who is the leader of recently established new political movement Sunshine Uzbekistan, who called the government to resign, brought an action against the local newspaper.
On 11 August, Sanjar Umarov appealed to Shayhantahur district court of Tashkent with civil suit against Tashkent weekly Zerkalo XXI on levy of 50 million soums (,000 USD) for moral damages after the publication of the un-checked information, that slandered his honor, dignity and business reputation.
The article by unknown author Aziz Tangriberdiev under the title "Sly werewolf" was run in Zerkalo XXI in the beginning of August 2005. The author calls the activity of entrepreneur Sanjar Umarov "criminal" with "detractive connections" and threatens the plaintiff with words: "...only stubbing such creature (Sanjar Umarov) out of our country, we can achieve our purpose - the development of fair entrepreneurship to strenghen the economic prosperity of our country."
After Andizhan events of last May, Zerkalo XXI actively began publishing "angry" articles on oppositionists and foreign radio stations as well as major American politicians, who demanded the international investigation.
As the chief editors of all print publications of the republic are confirmed by the president`s apparatus, the editorial board of the newspaper has to publish such materials, which are brought to their office by the staff of Security services or apparatus of president. When the newspaper refuses to publish such articles, the chief editors may lose their positions.
As a rule, such articles contain references to c-asia.org, website which cooperates with Uzbek special services. The authors of these articles sign by false names.
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