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Norway-based Reporter Detained in Uzbekistan

Igor Rotar, the Central Asia correspondent for the Norway-based religious-freedom organization Forum 18, was detained by Uzbek authorities at Tashkent Airport on 11 August, Forum 18 reported the same day. Rotar had just arrived from Kyrgyzstan.

The report quoted "reliable sources" as saying that Rotar's detention was ordered "for political reasons at the highest levels" with the complicity of the National Security Service. Rotar, who is a Russian citizen, has covered religious-freedom issues extensively for Forum 18. He is also a contributor to the U.S.-based Jamestown Foundation's "Eurasia Daily Monitor."

Jamestown President Glen E. Howard said in an 11 August statement, "Igor Rotar is an independent journalist covering conflict and instability in Central Asia. He poses no threat, and we urge the Uzbek government to release him immediately."

(RFE/RL 12.viii.05)

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