Uzbek journalist has been detained in Ukraine where he faces extradition. The charges against him are not clear, and it is believed that his arrest is connected to his reporting on the Uzbek government’s human rights abuse.
Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko
Office of the Prosecutor General
13/15 Riznytska St.
Dear Prosecutor General,
Norwegian PEN has been informed that journalist Narzullo Akhunjonov was arrested at Kiev airport on 20 September, and is now held in detention. This happened on the basis of an Interpol Red Notice requested against him by Uzbekistan, his native country.
Akhunjonov now risks extradition to Uzbekistan, where he has been persecuted for his critical reporting. In addition, he has been refused access to a doctor during his detention in Ukraine, while he awaits a decision on the extradition request. Akhunjonov has a problem with his vision and risks permanent damage to his eye sight as a consequence of this denial of medical attention.
Norwegian PEN urge the Ukranian authorities to eject requests to extradite Akhunjonov to Uzbekistan. We stand by PEN International in the demand for Akhunjonov to be immediate and unconditional released from detention, and hope you will meet our concerns with allowing Akhunjonov urgent access to adequate medical treatment while he remains in detention in Ukraine.
Ms Brit Bildøen
Chair of Writers in Prison Committee
COPY: The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs