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Detained BBC reporter released

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Liliane Landor | 17:00 UK time, Thursday, 14 July 2011

I am delighted to say that our colleague Urunboy Usmonov, who works for the BBC World Service, has been released from detention on bail in Tajikistan.

Urunboy Usmonov

He was arrested in June and has been accused of having links with Hizb ut-Tahrir, an illegal Islamist group widespread in Central Asia.

As we have consistently said since his arrest, we believe Urunboy is innocent and was simply doing his job - journalism.

We are pleased that Tajik authorities have now considered our appeals.

Today his son picked him up from prison in Khojand so that he can be reunited with his family.

We know that his family and friends are delighted to have Urunboy back and we are appreciative of the support from colleagues at the BBC and around the world.

Liliane Landor is languages controller of BBC Global News.


  • Comment number 1.

    Ms Landor:

    It's a good day, for the released on bail for the BBC Reporter; but, it will be a better day if the Tajik authorities would do the just and correct & not further the case......

    Dennis in Rochester, New York

  • Comment number 2.

    Having followed his story from the beginning, I am delighted that Tajik authorities have finally withdrawn charges of Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT) membership & recruiting against Urunboy Usmonov.
    Police arrested Usmonov on June 13th. Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT) is banned in Tajikistan because allegedly it wants to impose its version of a caliphate in Central Asia.
    I truly hope this situation is over for Urunboy Usmonov, and wish him nothing but peace & goodwill.
    However, charges that he failed to notify authorities of HT activities remain in effect. May these charges go away, never to return.

  • Comment number 3.

    Hopefully the UK taxpayers did not have to fund efforts to release him.

  • Comment number 4.

    ProPhoenix said:

    Hopefully the UK taxpayers did not have to fund efforts to release him

    Although the World Service is funded (still) by the Foreign Office, I find your remark unacceptable. As employer, the BBC should take care of its staff. Also insourced staff have that right. As a licence fee payer, you fund the BBC. You should be proud of that.
  • Comment number 5. just not good enough....Tajikistan, now finish the job & release him wholly.

  • Comment number 6.

    The whole tenor of the BBC comments on this story are that BBC journalists should be realised regardless of anything they may have done. Its one thing to believe somebody is innocent of any crime and to insist evidence be produced and procedures followed but to demand his realease as the BBC press release did is to demand a country legal system should just do as the BBC says

    One of the BBC other blog said "Two weeks on, we now know that the evidence against Urunboy is a few books and computer files on Hizb ut-Tahrir, and that he had met a few members of the group to interview them, without telling the security authorities. This is nothing other than routine, common practice for any serious and independent journalist" The question the BBC hasn't answered is if this was legal in Tajikistan -if meetng members of a proscribed organisations is illegal in Tajikistan it would seem reasonable to arrest him.

    The question for all journalists should be are they acting within the law are the following the example of the news of the world and only obeying laws they feel like

  • Comment number 7.

    BBC = Excellent Journalism

    Here in Canada we mostly love our CBC but BBC is deeply appreciated and well known especially for the excellent British dramas and sit coms which are subtle and human and sophisticated in a way that is lost on American Broadcasters with their bang bang shoot em' up violent and formulaic method. Keep up the good work and say wouldn't that Michael Palin fellow make a truly great British PM. Imagine all the pratfalls and jollification he could bring England in this difficult economic climate. Perhaps that fellow from Blackadder as his Parliamentary Assistant Baldrick. He can be currently be located digging holes in the English countryside.

    Cheers to Everyone at the BBC

  • Comment number 8.

    Thank you to The Editors and All staffs in BBC WorldNews. My full name is Mr K Yong Quek Fee. I am a 56 years of age, a chinese from Singapore. I've been living in Singapore since January 1955. Although I am not a vivid fan in politics, I enjoyed following up news from all over the world.

    Great Britain is the names of your combined
    countries as England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. I learned the names of the stated countries when our country are still under England care. Even my old age mother who is now nearing the 80s who once worked for a few British families during the Britishs living in Singapore, was still alived, had always told us and reminded us how the English families had treated her well and remember to greet the English visitors visiting Singapore with great respects and good manners.

    Although our mother and our family had not visited England not even once, my mother told us many fond stories about her working life for a few British families as washerwoman during the 50s and 60s. At that times, employments are very bad. As our family are many and young, our father and mother had to work very hard to feed and support the family.

    Our mother said the British families treated her well because our mother know how to take care of the washing chores, their chidren and doing other houseworks as told. One thing she regretted she couldn't speak English much and didn't get their contacts before many British Citizens returned to their country after Singapore was handed over by England.

    Times had passed and most of us are greying. Singapore had changed with many greyings. Some are still working and some are not working due to politic situations in Singapore.

    Our brothers and sisters had been a great fans to hear BBC WorldNews everyday over the radio although we don't had a chance to see a real broadcaster's face over our Television. In Singapore we can watch ChannelNewsAsia and local news over our Singapore TV channels with the faces of News Broadcaster.

    We heard the news of phone hacking in England few days ago. There's one things when I read the news of Mr Rupert Murdoch comparing Singapore Ministers salaries to England Ministers salaries, Singaporeans are not too happy to hear such comments by Mr Rupert Murdoch. Although the salaries was reported in the news, I strongly felt it had nothing to do with the phone hacking. I think he is showing his contempts and disrespectfuls to all England Citizens. Our brothers and sisters felt that he is insulting the England Government, and implying that the MPs working for the England Government, their salaries should be paid like the Singapore Government so that corruptions can be prevented. So what Mr Rupert Murdoch is implying to the MPs of England Government and to others? His words are very damagings to all Citizens of England.

    Although we do not know what is the serious crimes and offences punishable by law committed in the case of phone hacking in your country. After hearing what Mr Rupert Murdoch apologised and commented in the news, many Singaporeans and Foreigners in Singapore and all over the world urge the England Government to subject Mr Rupert Murdoch and his staffs to further investigations until they are proven guilty of breaking the law in England.

    In Singapore so far there's no major cases of illegal phone hackings reported yet.
    We don't know yet. Maybe it had happened but not uncovered yet. Time would tell.
    Hopefully the laws would even stricter in England should the law breakers violated the law. In Singapore, offenders is either fines or jail terms or both plus canings. For capital crimes, it is death penalty or life sentences depending on the degree of the crime committed.

    Thank you very much for your times and patiences.

    I hope to contact you more from Singapore in future.

    Mr Kelvin Yong
    [Personal details removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 9.

    4.At 15:19 18th Jul 2011, Piet Boon wrote:
    ProPhoenix said:

    Hopefully the UK taxpayers did not have to fund efforts to release him

    Although the World Service is funded (still) by the Foreign Office, I find your remark unacceptable. As employer, the BBC should take care of its staff. Also insourced staff have that right. As a licence fee payer, you fund the BBC. You should be proud of that.
    Jiust a minor point. As a reluctant licence payer who disagrees with this regressive tax, I have many issues with the BBC world service, one of which is the necessity of searching the net for news not mentioned by the BBC.


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