Foreign Policy Blogs

Uzbekistan: Umida Niyazova trial April 19th

Umida Niyazova will be on trial in Uzbekistan April the 19th.  According to News Agency:

Umida Niyazova is charged with illegal border crossing, smuggling, manufacturing or distribution of subversive literature with the help of financial or other aid, received from religious organizations and also from foreign states, organizations and citizens.

Ms. Niyazova is a journalist who was taken into custody as she travelled between Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.  She was interviewing Uzbekistan nationals still living in Kyrgyzstan after the Andijan Massacre.  As a journalist, she would have had literature, certainly.  She might also have been paid for her work.

She has been in detention since January 22, 2007.  Ferghana.Ru also reported on February 2 that Ms. Niyazova has been tortured in detention and describes some of the regulations attending her incarceration.

Human Rights Watch, with whom Ms. Niyazova worked, has been kicked out of Uzbekistan just in time to leave Ms. Niyazova without their advocacy.  Check their press release for their position and insights.

One of Ms. Niyazova's film clips can be found here.  The last video on the right belongs to her.

This blog will have updates on Ms. Niyazova's trial–check back.
Background posts: April 16th-HRW exits Uzbekistan
April 9th–EU rapprochement v. Niyazova charge
March 28th–Timeline of media harrassment in Uzbekistan has a new post on EU relations with Uzbekistan
Recommended:  International Crisis Group has an executive summary/recent report on Uzbekistan and EU sanctions regime, November 6, 2006.