Gairat Mehliboev, 31, was sentenced an independent journalist, was sentenced to 8 years in prison on charges of instigating national, racial and religious conflict, attempt to overthrow constitutional regime, setting up illegal religious organisation, participation in religious and other illegal organisations on Ferbuary 18, 2003. (Source: Association for Human Rights in Central Asia)
Gairat Mehliboev was a correspondent for officially registered Hurriyat and Mohiyat newspapers. Repression against him started after he started writing critical articles, one of which was presented as evidence during his trial.
Gayrat Mehliboev was arrested on 24 July 2002 at the Chorsu market in Tashkent organised by the Hizb ut-Tahrir Islamic group (banned). According to the prosecution, literature from the organisation was found in his room. Mehliboev has denied that he had possessed banned literature but admitted that he had studied Hizb ut-Tahir ideology which he had referred to in an
article published April 2001 entitled “The Scales of Justice”. He added that he had suffered beatings in prison and had been forced into signing a letterof remorse. (Source: Centre For Journalism in Extreme Situations).
According to his relatives, he is badly tortured and needs urgent medical attention.
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