CPJ Urges Tajik Authorities To Immediately Release Two Journalists

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The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has called on Tajikistan to fully disclose information on the whereabouts of two detained bloggers with a history of critical views and immediately release them.

Zavqibek Saidamini and Abdusattor Pirmuhammadzoda were detained separately last week and no information has been made public about what charges they might face or where exactly they are being held.

Both Saidamini and Pirmuhammadzoda worked with journalists Daler Imomali and Abdullo Ghurbati, who were detained in mid-June, and have published calls for their release.

“Tajik authorities’ failure to provide information on the whereabouts of Zavqibek Saidamini and Abdusattor Pirmuhammadzoda is wholly unacceptable and a further sign of their blatant disregard for the law while attempting to stifle discussion of inconvenient topics,” Gulnoza Said, CPJ’s Europe and Central Asia program coordinator, said in a July 14 statement. “Authorities should immediately disclose Saidamini and Pirmuhammadzoda’s whereabouts and release them without delay.”

The bloggers' relatives have told RFE/RL that neither journalist appears to have been given access to a lawyer.

Tajik President Emomali Rahmon has been criticized by international human rights groups for years over his administration's alleged disregard for independent media, religious freedoms, civil society, and political pluralism in the tightly controlled former Soviet republic.

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