Tajikistan Detains BBC Reporter

Posted June 16th, 2011 at 2:30 pm (UTC-5)
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Authorities in Tajikistan have detained a BBC reporter on suspicion of ties to a banned Islamic organization.

The British Broadcasting Corporation Thursday called for the immediate release of Urumboi Usmonov, who was reported missing by his family on Monday.

The BBC says family members reported he appeared to have been beaten up when he was brought back to his home briefly on Tuesday. He has been held in custody since then.

Tajik authorities accuse Usmonov, a Tajik citizen, of being a member of the Islamic movement Hizb-ut-Tahrir, which is illegal in the Central Asian country. The BBC says while Usmonov has reported on the activities of the group, it has no reason to believe the allegations.

Tajikistan was among four Central Asian countries cited by the U.S. State Department in its latest human rights report for human rights abuses, including arbitrary arrests and torture.