Rotar Updates

by Nathan Hamm on 8/12/2005 · 2 comments

Here are some updates on Forum 18 and Jamestown author Igor Rotar who was arrested in Uzbekistan.

Jamestown says that Rotar has been removed from the airport and that he may be deported to Kazakhstan.

The Jamestown Foundation has learned that independent journalist Igor Rotar was recently moved from Tashkent airport by Uzbek authorities.

Unnamed government sources report that Rotar was taken by car and may be deported to Kazakhstan. His current condition and whereabouts are unknown.

Uzbek authorities today told the Jamestown Foundation that Rotar was detained for failing to secure accreditation as a journalist before arriving in Tashkent. Major Western news organizations privately contested that claim, noting that Uzbek authorities routinely arrange accreditation for foreign journalists upon arrival.

Forum 18 also has its own update on Rotar.

Reliable sources have told Forum 18 that the detention was ordered “for political reasons at the highest levels,” and that the detention was carried out on the instructions of the National Security Service secret police (see F18News 11 August 2005 http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=627 ).

Igor Rotar is apparently in good health, and although he has still not been permitted to communicate with anyone, he does not appear to have suffered further physical harassment. He spent the night on the floor of Tashkent airport’s transit lounge, and it is believed that the Uzbek authorities originally encouraged him to buy a ticket out of the country, to avoid being seen to formally deport him.

The Committee to Protect Journalists is also publicizing the story.

A recent interview with Rotar can be found at Christian Monitor.


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This post was written by...

– 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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