Press Office

Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

Press Release

BBC World Service Statement: Urunboy Usmonov

Urinboy Usmonov

The BBC has learnt with very great concern of the detention of its reporter in Tajikistan, Urunboy Usmonov.

Mr Usmonov, who has worked for the BBC Central Asian Service for the last 10 years, was reported missing by his family on 13 June 2011 when he failed to return home after work. At 12:00 BST on 14 June 2011, after increasingly desperate searches by family and work colleagues, Mr Usmonov appeared at his home accompanied by members of the Tajik security services. Mr Usmonov's family reported that he appeared to have been beaten up.

A search was conducted of his home by the officers and he was then taken away. He has been denied access to his family since then.

The BBC now understands that Mr Usmonov has been accused of having links to the Hizbi Tahrir party – an Islamic organisation which is banned in Tajikistan. Whilst Mr Usmonov has reported on the judicial trials and activities of the Hizbi Tahrir party in Tajikistan at the request of the BBC, the BBC has no reason to believe these allegations. The BBC deplores the alleged treatment of Mr Usmonov whilst detained, in particular the denial of access to a legal representative.

The BBC demands that Mr Usmonov is released with immediate effect.

PR

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