Uzbekistan: Blogger freed from involuntary psychiatric care

TASHKENT (TCA) — An Uzbek blogger who was placed under involuntary psychiatric care nearly three months ago after extensively covering alleged corruption and abuse among politicians has been released, according to a family member and local rights activists, RFE/RL’s Uzbek Service reported.

Writing under the name Shabnam Olloshkurova, Nafosat Olloshukurova’s Facebook page had more than 4,000 followers when she was put under administrative arrest in September for alleged violations including petty hooliganism and participating in unauthorized assemblies.

She had reportedly been documenting a march by a journalist and poet to petition authorities to drop a case against him.

Days after she began serving her sentence, a court in the western Khorezm region ordered that Olloshukurova be placed in a regional psychiatric center, the blogger’s mother and news reports said at the time.

Olloshukurova was then kept incommunicado for weeks, her mother said.

On December 28, her father told RFE/RL’s Uzbek Service that Olloshukurova had been released and had left Khorezm for the capital, Tashkent.

The head of the Tashkent-based Ezgulik human rights group, Abdurakhman Tashanov, said a commission had determined that there was no need to continue Ollashukurova’s neuropsychiatric treatment.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) urged her release in October, saying, “If Uzbekistan wants the world to believe it is serious about reforms, it should not resort to the use of totalitarian practices like forced confinement of journalists in a psychiatric ward.”

Sergey Kwan


Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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