BBC condemns Usmonov verdict

We will continue to support Urunboy and hope that the appeal process will lead to his reputation as a highly respected writer and journalist being restoredPeter Horrocks, Director BBC Global News
Date: 14.10.2011     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 17.59
Category: World Service
BBC World Service strongly condemns the guilty verdict against its correspondent in Tajikistan, Urunboy Usmonov.

Mr Usmonov and the BBC have consistently maintained that all allegations of association with Islamic extremists are completely unfounded and that Mr Usmonov is innocent of all charges.

The BBC believes that no evidence of wrong doing whatsoever emerged during the trial, and that only a complete exoneration of our correspondent is acceptable.

Despite being given amnesty, Mr Usmonov intends to appeal to a higher court to clear his name.

Peter Horrocks, Director BBC Global News, said: "We will continue to support Urunboy and hope that the appeal process will lead to his reputation as a highly respected writer and journalist being restored.

"We also intend to press for answers over the torture and mistreatment Urunboy suffered while in custody and to raise real concerns about shortcomings in the legal process."

When questioned during his trial, Mr Usmonov told the court that he'd been tortured in custody following his arrest on 13 June this year, including beatings and security officers burning his arms with cigarettes. He also said he'd been forced to sign a confession which had been dictated to him.

BBC World Service Press Office