Uzbekistan: hunger strike journalist denied medical treatment
Summary of story from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, July 1, 2011
One of the two journalists who are on a hunger strike to protest against media censorship in Uzbekistan has been denied treatment at a hospital in Tashkent.
Saodat Omonova was taken to a local hospital with severe stomach pains on June 30, but was refused treatment because she is not a registered resident of Tashkent.
On June 27, which in Uzbekistan is Media Workers’ Day, the striking Omonova and Malohat Eshonqulova were detained for holding an unauthorised protest outside President Islam Karimov’s residence and later fined 2.94m soms.
The two journalists had been appealing to Karimov for a meeting to talk about media censorship at the state television station Yoshlar, where they had both formerly worked.
Omonova and Eshonqulova were sacked in December from Yoshlar following a protest in Tashkent’s main square. The pair filed a lawsuit against Yoshlar for unfair dismmisal, but a court ruled that the company’s decision was legal. They intend to appeal this verdict.
After broadcasting propoganda for years on state television Omonova stated that her “eyes are now open and [she] sees how ordinary people [in Uzbekistan] are suffering.”
Follow the progress of Omonova and Eshonqulova’s hunger strike on their Twitter account (@Malohat_Saodat).