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Isaacson Protests BBC Detention in Tajikistan

U.K. -- Director of the BBC World Service Peter Horrocks (C) and fellow BBC employees during a vigil for detained BBC journalist Urinboy Usmonov, London, 22Jun2011
The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) joins in solidarity with its colleagues at the BBC to protest the detention of Urunboy Usmonov, a reporter for the BBC World Service's Uzbek service, who has been held in Tajikistan for alleged ties to Hizb-ut-Tahir, an Islamic movement that is banned in Central Asia.

"International journalists suffer this kind of outrageous repression all too often. Our colleagues at Radio Free Europe know Urunboy as an independent-minded journalist who could be expected to cover sensitive issues with professionalism and detachment," said Walter Isaacson, chairman of the BBG. "His reporting on Hizb-ut-Tahrir, among other subjects, was journalism, not a crime."

Usmonov's arrest is the latest incident in a year that saw escalating attacks against Tajikistan's independent media.

For more information on the detention of Urunboy Usmonov, visit the BBC.

The Broadcasting Board of Governors is an independent federal agency, supervising all U.S. government-supported, civilian international broadcasting, whose mission is to promote freedom and democracy and to enhance understanding through multimedia communication of accurate, objective, and balanced news, information, and other programming about America and the world to audiences overseas. BBG broadcasts reach an audience of 165 million in 100 countries. BBG broadcasting organizations include the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa), Radio Free Asia, and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (Radio and TV Marti).

The full press release is here.