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Uzbekistan: Clamor Grows for Release of Activist

Yelena Urlaeva, an activist being held in a psychiatric institution, speaking in a video appeal posted on March 2, 2017. (Photo: YouTube screengrab)

For almost two weeks, one of Uzbekistan’s best-known human rights activists has been forcibly confined to a psychiatric institution in Tashkent, prompting deepening alarm among her supporters.

Yelena Urlaeva, who has fearlessly documented cases of rights abuses in Uzbekistan for decades, was detained by police on March 1 and checked into a hospital against her will, according to her own video testimony.
fergana.ru, which has published a petition on its website calling for Urlaeva’s release, reported earlier in the week that the activist has been visited in hospital by representatives from the US Embassy, among others.

Photographer Timur Karpov managed to take a photograph of Urlaeva, which was posted on fergana.ru on March 9, but he was not admitted to see her. 

“He was not allowed to see the patient with the excuse that the only days on which visits are permitted are Wednesday and Saturday,” a doctor was quoted as saying by the website.

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Uzbekistan: Clamor Grows for Release of Activist

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