Tue, 22 Jun 2021

TASHKENT -- Uzbekistan's Association of Journalists has condemned an attack on reporters from the Effect.uz website in the eastern city of Andijon.

Several journalists from Effect.uz said they were beaten on June 7 by a son of the city-council chairman.

The incident occurred as three journalists from the website are on trial on charges of libel and insulting and resisting authorities over their attempt earlier this year to cover the trial of blogger Otabek Sattoriy.

In a statement on Telegram on June 8, the association called on the authorities in Andijon to 'properly assess' the attack and said the Prosecutor-General's Office should take the investigation under its control.

'Uzbekistan's laws guarantee journalists' rights and the protection of the mass media, and a violation of those laws is punishable,' the statement said, adding that the attack on the journalists in Andijon contradicted the declared policies of the democratization and liberalization of the Central Asian state's government.

The Prosecutor-General's Office has said that the case is under investigation by Andijon regional prosecutors.

Last month, a court in the southern Surxondaryo region sentenced Sattoriy, who is known for reports critical of local government, to 6 1/2 years in prison on what he and rights groups called 'trumped-up' extortion and slander charges.

Uzbekistan is ranked 157th out of 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders' 2020 World Press Freedom Index.

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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