VOA Uzbek reporter avoids jail time
Boboyev was tried on charges of “defamation,” “preparing and disseminating material constituting a threat to public order and security,” and "unlawful entry or exit to Uzbekistan." He was convicted of the first two but acquitted of the third, which was the only one that carried a jail sentence.
He also was allowed to resume his journalism work immediately, though he plans to appeal, a U.S. State Department source told EurasiaNet.
As it happened, as Boboyev was being sentenced, a delegation of senior Uzbek officials was visiting Washington, and got an earful about the Boboyev case, the State Department official said: "It came up in every meeting they had here... we raised it as a specific concern and were encouraging them to do the right thing. The response we got was that our concerns were duly noted at the highest levels and would be taken seriously."
The resolution of the case did not entirely satisfy the State Department, however: "Our view of it was, while it certainly could have been worse, we're disappointed that he was convicted of anything. He was a journalist performing his official duties, not committing any crime whatsoever."
Joshua Kucera, a senior correspondent, is Eurasianet's former Turkey/Caucasus editor and has written for the site since 2007.