English PEN sends its deepest condolences to the imprisoned journalist and human rights activist Dilmurod Saidov (Sayyid), whose wife and daughter, aged 6, were killed in a car accident while on their way to visit him in prison.
Dilmurod Saidov is currently serving a twelve and a half-year prison sentence on charges of extortion and forgery; however, it is widely believed that he is being punished for his reporting on corruption and for his activism for farmers’ rights. English PEN calls for his immediate and unconditional release in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Uzbekistan is a signatory.
The following is a press release issued by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFL/RL) on 8 November 2009.
Jailed Uzbek Journalist’s Family Dies In Auto Accident
The family of jailed Uzbek journalist and human rights activist Dilmurod Sayyid died in a car accident on their way to visit him in prison, RFE/RL’s Uzbek Service reports.
Sayyid’s lawyer, Rukhiddin Komilov, told RFE/RL that Sayyid’s wife, Barno Jumanova, and their 6-year-old daughter died in an accident on the way from Tashkent to Navoi, where Sayyid is serving his prison sentence.
Sayyid, 48, was sentenced on July 30 to 12 1/2 years in jail on extortion and forgery charges, which he denied and said were politically motivated.
He was an outspoken critic of the human rights situation in Uzbekistan and was under pressure from officials since 2005 when he sharply criticized rights violations in the country in an article in the newspaper “Advokat-press.”
The newspaper was shut down in 2005.
Sayyid’s lawyer, family, and supporters said the charges against him were trumped up for political reasons and several human rights organizations expressed concern at his arrest and subsequent sentencing.
For the previous WiPC alert on Dilmurod Saidov click here.
For the BBC’s country profiles of Uzbekistan see here.
Please send appeals:
Calling for Dilmurod Saidov’s immediate and unconditional release, in accordance with Article 19 of the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Uzbekistan is a signatory;
Calling on the Uzbek authorities to take urgent measures to ensure the safety of journalists and freedom of expression.
Islam A. Karimov
President of the Republic of Uzbekistan
Ul. Uzbekistaniskaia 43
Fax: 998 71 139 5325
Head of the National Centre for Human Rights
Natsionalny tsentr po pravam cheloveka
5/3 Mustakillik Maidoni
Fax: 998 71 139 13 56
We recommend that you send a copy of your appeal to the Uzbek Embassy in your country asking them to forward it and welcoming any comments:
His Excellency Otabek Akbarov
41 Holland Park
Fax: 020 7229 7029
Originally posted with the url: www.englishpen.org/writersinprison/bulletins/uzbekistanimprisonedjournalistsfamilydiesinaccident/