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HRW slams closed trial for Uzbek rights activist

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] criticized Uzbek officials for blocking access to the trial of rights activist Mutabar Tojiboeva [RFE/RL report], in a statement [HRW news release] issued Tuesday. Uzbek police have blocked off the court building and set up checkpoints on the roads leading into the town where the trial is taking place. Tojiboeva openly criticized the Uzbekistan [JURIST news archive] government for its role in the Andijan uprising [HRW backgrounder] in May 2005, and gave advice to the businessmen involved in the uprising. He was arrested in October and faces charges of blackmail, embezzlement, and slander. Over the past four months, 151 have been convicted on similar charges in closed trials [JURIST report], which has led to increased criticism of the Uzbek government and questions surrounding the fairness of the trials. Pravda has more.

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