The journalist Bobomurod Abdullayev was arrested in Bishkek at the request of the Uzbek authorities in line with the 1993 Minsk Convention "On Legal Assistance in Civil, Family and Criminal Cases, the General Prosecutor's Office of Uzbekistan announced on Wednesday.
The journalist's arrest on August 10 was reported by the 24.kg news publication. The media report, citing information from the State Committee for National Security of Kyrgyzstan, said that Bobomurod Abdullayev was arrested on August 8.
Now, his extradition to the Republic of Uzbekistan is reportedly being reviewed.
According to 24.kg, the First May District Court of Bishkek on August 10 ruled to arrest Abdullayev until September 8.
The Prosecutor General's Office did not elaborate on what charges is the journalist being accused of in Uzbekistan. Abdullaev himself told the Kyrgyz journalists: “This is the request from the Uzbek authorities. They claim that I had allegedly been writing articles under the pen name Qora Mergan (transl. Black Marksman). On July 23, they held a trial in the Mirzo-Ulugbek District Court and even charged him in absentia. "
On August 11, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ, New York) asked the Kyrgyz authorities to release Bobomurod Abdullayev and give him the opportunity to work freely.
Abdullayev's lawyer Timur Karabaev told CPJ that the journalist came to Kyrgyzstan in February for four months to study at the American University of Central Asia and stayed in the country due to border closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Amnesty International, the International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR), Freedom House and several other human rights organizations also issued a joint statement calling on the Kyrgyz authorities to protect Bobomurod Abdullayev from extradition.
In 2017, Bobomurod Abdullayev and three other people were detained on charges of encroachment to the constitutional order of Uzbekistan. In May 2018, the court found Bobomurod Abdullayev guilty and sentenced him to correctional labor. The other defendants in the case were acquitted.