The U.S. Embassy in Tashkent issued a statement clarifying on its role in the departure of the blogger Nafosat Ollashukorova from Uzbekistan:
“Blogger Nafosat Ollashukorova left Uzbekistan of her own accord. The U.S. Embassy was fortunate to be able to meet with her before she left and will continue to follow her case closely.”
“The U.S. strongly supports Freedom of Speech- vital for any society to flourish. The President Mirziyoyev says critical media is essential for public control of government and success of his reform program. Journalists should be allowed to do their work, not threatened or harassed”, the statement said.
According to some media reports Ollashukorova is now in Ukraine, where she will be applying for political asylum.
Ollashukurova, a 32-year-old teacher and mother of two from the city of Urgench, came to prominence in September when she transmitted live Facebook broadcasts of a cross-country trek by poet and journalist Mahmud Rajabov, who had embarked on the walk to draw the attention of the interior minister to his ongoing criminal case.