Journalist in great danger in Uzbek prison system

first_img February 11, 2021 Find out more News Uzbek blogger facing possible 10-year jail term to go further More than six years in prison for Uzbek blogger who covered corruption Receive email alerts UzbekistanEurope – Central Asia Help by sharing this information UzbekistanEurope – Central Asia Organisation October 15, 2020 Find out morecenter_img News RSF_en News May 11, 2021 Find out more June 26, 2013 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Journalist in great danger in Uzbek prison system Follow the news on Uzbekistan News New press freedom predators elected to UN Human Rights Council Reporters Without Borders reiterates its call for the release of Solidzhon Abdurakhmanov (Салиджон Абдурахманов), an independent journalist who has been in prison since 2008 serving a ten-year sentence on a trumped-up charge of drug trafficking.Abdurakhmanov has a stomach ulcer and his state of health has worsened a great deal in recent months.“We are extremely worried about Abdurakhmanov,” Reporters Without Borders said. “After five years in prison in appalling conditions, this 63-year-old man’s continuing detention is criminal. We hold the prison authorities responsible for his fate and we urge them to provide a complete report on his state of health without delay.“The international community must work together to press the Uzbek government to release all political prisoners. The attitude of the European Union, which lifted sanctions on Uzbekistan although the conditions previously set had not been satisfied, is tantamount to abandonment.” One of the few independent journalists in the western autonomous region of Karakalpakstan, Abdurakhmanov wrote many articles about the public health and human impact of the Aral Sea ecological disaster. He also was regional director of the Committee for the Protection of Human Rights in Karakalpakstan.Abdurakhmanov was arrested on a charge of “consuming drugs” under article 276.2 of the criminal code on 7 June 2008, when police found drugs in his car shortly after he had collected from the workshop where he had left it for repairs.He has always denied the charge and insists that the police planted the drugs. After tests showed that he had not consumed drugs, the charge was changed to “drug trafficking,” for which he was given the ten-year sentence in October 2008 at the end of a trial marked by violation of defence rights. Karakalpakstan’s supreme court confirmed the sentence the following month without offering any grounds for its decision.According to Uznews, an independent news website, Abdurakhmanov was recently transferred to a prison hospital in Tashkent, the capital, that is reserved for the most gravely ill detainees. This was the second time since February that he had been transferred to this hospital.The news of his hospitalization is all the more disturbing because the International Committee of the Red Cross was prevented from seeing him twice during prison inspections in 2012.Reporters Without Borders also calls for the immediate release of eight other journalists held in connection with their journalistic work:- Khayrullo Khamidov (Nawruz) – held since 21 January 2010- Dilmurod Sayid (Ezgulik) – held since 22 February 2009- Bakhrom Ibragimov (Irmok) – held since 16 February 2009- Davron Kabilov (Irmok) – held since 16 February 2009- Ravshanbek Vafoev (Irmok) – held since 16 February 2009 – Botyrbek Eshkuziev (Irmok) – held since 16 February 2009 – Jusuf Ruzimuradov (Erk) – held since 15 March 1999- Mohammed Bekzhanov (Erk) – held since 15 March 1999 Read the December 2011 Human Rights Watch report “No One Left to Witness” on prison conditions and use of torture in Uzbekistan.Photo: Uznews.netlast_img read more

Read More »

Jay board approves Public Works hiring, town meeting timeline

first_imgJAY – The Board of Selectpersons approved the hiring of a full-time employee for the Public Works Department at Wednesday’s meeting, in an effort to meet staffing needs in advance of the winter season.The department is smaller than it has been in the past to begin with, down from 13 employees to nine, counting the mechanic and Highway Foreman John Johnson, and has two employees that are either on, or soon will be on, medical leave. With 95 miles of road to plow, Johnson said, seven people simply wouldn’t be able to do the job.The board voted to advertise for a full-time position on the department. In addition to covering for people on medical leave, that new position will help a department that has a couple of people nearing retirement. The position may not be easy to fill; Johnson warned the board that a number of similar positions remained unfilled across the state.The board also authorized town officials to close the transfer station if necessary, to allow the employees there to plow roads. All of those employees are now on the same contract as Public Works and have the appropriate licenses, so Johnson said that wouldn’t be an issue. Department employees going off payroll meant that there would be adequate funding to cover the position.Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere said that the town office would work to alert the public and coordinate with Archie’s when closings were necessary.“There’s a lot of moving pieces to keep track of,” Johnson said. “It’s going to get done but it’s not getting done with seven people.”The board also approved a timeline for the 2020 budget process that would conclude with the annual town meeting referendum on April 28. An initial workshop would be held with members of the Budget Committee and the Board of Selectpersons, followed by a more formal meeting and vote. Grant and program funding requests will only be accepted from organizations previously funded by Jay, similar to the process over the last few years.The town does need people to serve on the Budget Committee, as well as the Paving Committee. Interested residents should contact the town office.last_img read more

Read More »

Vermont Tourism Reports Strong Winter Season

first_imgVermont Tourism ReportsStrong Winter Season According to the Department ofTourism and Marketing, tax revenue collected for Rooms and Meals is showingthat this year’s snowy winter has been a good season for Vermont’stourism industry. Rooms and Meals tax revenue generated during December,January and February is up $2.08 million (6.94 percent) over the previouswinter season, and $1.73 million (5.67 percent) over the same period two yearsago. The National Weather Servicein Burlington reported December as the fourth-snowiest on record, and thatFebruary had its snowiest month ever with 42.3 inches, beating the previousrecord of 34.3 inches set in 1958. In December, the Vermont Ski AreasAssociation had its highest percentage of early season terrain open in eightyears. “The winter season hasbeen tremendously successful for our ski areas and local businesses that rely onVermont’s tourism economy,” said Governor Jim Douglas. “Manyof Vermont’s ski resorts, Nordic centers and snowmobiling trails remainedopen through mid-April with excellent conditions, giving local businesses alate-season boost during what is traditionally a quiet time in Vermont.” MONTPELIER, Vt. — Vermont is wrapping up one of its best winterseasons in recent memory, thanks to an ideal combination of significant andpersistent snowfall that drew millions of visitors here to enjoy a variety ofrecreational activities.  A handful of ski areas arestill open, and the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers closed itssnowmobiling trails for the season on April 16. VAST’s entire 6,200-milesnowmobiling trail network opened for the season on December 16, and the saleof VAST trail passes increased from 27,000 during the 2006-07 season to 32,000during the 2007-08 season.center_img “We’ve had anincredible winter season that’s still going strong,” said Tourismand Marketing Commissioner Bruce Hyde. “The amount of snow we’vereceived since December has certainly been a terrific boon to theindustry.” “The winter skiseason has been phenomenal,” said Parker Riehle, president ofSki Vermont, the Vermont Ski Areas Association. “The season wasmarked by not only record snowfall, but with timing that was just perfectbecause every weekend and key holiday period started with a fresh blanket ofsnow with exhilarated skiers and riders close behind everysnowstorm.  And, with so much snow still in the mountains, several skiareas will be open well into late April.” Visitors make 13.4 milliontrips to Vermont each year and visitor spending adds an estimated $1.57 billionto the state’s economy, according to VDTM research. The research showsthat 28.3 percent of those visits, or 3.8 million, are during the winterseason. ###last_img read more

Read More »