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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The BBC is to hold a vigil today for detained journalist Urunboy Usmonov.
Usmonov, who has worked for the BBC Central Asian Service for the past decade, is understood to have been detained by security staff in the country last Tuesday.
The vigil will take place at 1pm on the steps of the World Service building, Bush House.
Reports from the Tajikistan news agency Press.tj on 18 June, accused the BBC correspondent of being a member of banned Islamist group Hizbut-Tahrir.
According to the BBC, Usmonov was brought to his home by security agents and appeared to have been beaten up. The agents then searched his home and took him away.
The BBC has repeatedly called for Usmonov’s release, claiming that the accusations against him “represent a breach of legal practice and a serious violation of presumption of innocence”.
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