Uzbekistan arrests human rights activist
Umida Niazova, 32, a human rights activist with Veritas and translator for Human Rights Watch, was arrested Jan. 22 near the Uzbek-Kyrgyz border, in what appears to be retaliation for her human rights work. According to HRW, she now faces "charges of bringing 'extremist' literature across the border (article 246 of the Uzbek criminal code, which is punishable by five to 10 years of imprisonment) and illegal border crossing (article 223, which is punishable by a fine or up to five to 10 years). It is not clear that actions allegedly committed by Niazova form the basis of these charges." Her laptop computer has also been confiscated.