OSCE demands Tajikistan release BBC reporter

AP News
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Posted: Jul 07, 2011 11:09 AM
OSCE demands Tajikistan release BBC reporter

A prominent trans-Atlantic security group has called on Tajikistan to release a jailed BBC reporter.

Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's Dunja Mijatovic said Tajik authorities have failed to address her concerns over Urunboi Usmonov, who has been in detention since June 13 on charges of belonging to a banned extremist organization.

The 59-year-old Usmonov has worked for the BBC Central Asian service for the past 10 years. Tajik authorities claim he is a member of radical Islamic movement Hizb-ut-Tahrir, which is illegal in the Central Asian republic.

Mijatovic said in Thursday's statement that she believes Usmonov's arrest is an attempt to quash reporting on sensitive issues.