Detained journalist prevented from seeing his lawyer

    MONTREAL, June 27 /CNW Telbec/ - Uznews correspondent Solidzhon
Abdurakhmanov's brother Bakhrom Abdurakhmanov, who is acting as his lawyer,
was unable to visit him on 25 June in the detention centre in Nukus, the
capital of the western autonomous region of Karakalpakstan, where he has been
held on a trumped-up drugs charge for the past three weeks.
    An official at the prison told him: "The directors are absent, and there
is no one here who can decide whether or not we can let you see him."
    Bakhrom Abdurakhmanov said: "The detention centre's authorities are
guilty of a gross violation of article 53.2 of Uzbekistan's criminal code,
which says that if a suspect is detained, his lawyer has the right to talk to
him in private as many times and for as long as he wants."
    The Uznews correspondent for Karakalpakstan, Solidzhon Abdurakhmanov is
being held on a charge of possessing and using drugs, which he denies. He has
often written about the Aral Sea environmental catastrophe's impact on the
population and public health, and Uznews regards him as "Karakalpakstan's only
independent journalist."

For further information:

For further information: Katherine Borlongan, Executive Director,
Reporters Without Borders Canada, (514) 521-4111, Canada

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