BBC: Detained reporter is ‘physically and psychologically frail’

The BBC reported late yesterday that Urunboy Usmonov, its Central Asian Service journalist being held in Tajikistan, is physically and psychologically frail, according to a colleague who managed to visit him in prison.

Hamid Ismailov, from the BBC Central Asian service, said he was “horrified” to see Urunboy Usmonov in a detention centre in the northern city of Khujand.

According to the BBC, which reported Usmonov’s detention earlier this month, the reporter has been charged with association with Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, allegations which the broadcaster claims are “unfounded”.

Last week BBC journalists held a vigil to demand his release.

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