Uzbek Jailed for Western Radio Recordings

by Nathan Hamm on 11/26/2004 · 1 comment

From Reuters:

An Uzbek man convicted of membership of a banned Muslim group and spreading “extremism” through recordings of Western radio stations has been jailed for seven years, a human rights activist said on Tuesday.

Abduvokhid Abduvakhabov, 25, was sentenced on Wednesday and will serve his sentence in a maximum security prison, activist Surat Ikramov, who monitored the case, told Reuters.

“The judge said that starting in 1997 Abduvakhabov had been spreading recordings of news reports by foreign media, including the Uzbek services of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Voice of America and the BBC,” said Ikramov.

The recordings contained “extremist ideas” and threatened state security and public order, Ikramov quoted the judge as saying.

I have a feeling there might be a little bit more to this story, but I can’t find it. If the facts of the case are exactly as reported, then the story is troubling to say the least. I have heard that some of these radio stations rebroadcast via transmitters in Uzbekistan, so I find it odd that someone would get in trouble for listening to this news (though I can see why charges would be trumped up against someone who spreads the recordings).

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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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{ 1 comment }

DakotaAviator December 1, 2004 at 3:03 am

I was deployed to K2 (near Karshi) Uzbekistan as well as Afghanistan the fall of 03, spring 04 and I could pick up about 3 “western” radio stations on shortwave with my Grundig. BBC, VOA etc… no problems. It certainly helped to pass the time on the Berm during guard duty quite well I must say.

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