The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) has expressed grave concern for Abdumalik Boboev, a journalist for the Voice of America, as he is on trial in Uzbekistan. At its meeting yesterday in Prague, the BBG discussed the fate of Abdumalik Boboev, who is charged by authorities with threatening public safety, slander, insult, and visa violations.
“He [Boboev] is required to present accurate and balanced reports and should not be penalized for doing his job,” said Walter Isaacson, Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors. “All journalists around the world should show solidarity for somebody who is being punished for doing his job well and doing his job properly.”
If convicted, Mr Boboev could face several years in jail. The Board adopted the following resolution expressing concern for Mr Boboev’s fate:
“The Broadcasting Board of Governors wishes to express its grave concern with the Uzbek government’s attempt to silence Mr Boboev and his objective reporting for the Voice of America and the state of media freedom in Uzbekistan. Using the criminal justice system to punish journalists for freely expressed views is contrary to Uzbekistan’s international obligations and has a chilling effect on journalists throughout the country. The Broadcasting Board of Governors calls upon Uzbekistan to drop the charges against Mr Boboev and cease all interference with the right of journalists in Uzbekistan to gather and report information freely.”
In discussing Mr Boboev’s case, the Board concurred that the safety and security of its journalists is paramount.
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