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Uzbekistan Detains Market Photographers for “Pursuing a Strategic Goal”

Two independent journalists have been detained in Uzbekistan’s capital for taking photos of a local market.

Reporters Without Borders writes that police stopped the two journalists, Pavel Kravets and Sid Yanyshev, around 1700 on July 30 at Askia Market in Tashkent. While the two say they were taking photos of the market for stories about Uzbekistan’s upcoming Independence Day, the police accused the two of “pursuing a strategic goal.”

According to an emailed statement from the Tashkent-based Human Rights Aliance, the police released the two men that evening after destroying their materials and instructing them to return to the local police station the following day with their passports.

Throughout Central Asia, photographers will often find themselves harassed by authorities (and/or local thugs) for snapping just about anything, from colorful markets and city scenes to so-called strategic objects, like government buildings and railroad stations. ("The whole world can see this on Google Earth," isn't generally an effective defense.)

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Uzbekistan Detains Market Photographers for “Pursuing a Strategic Goal”

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