On 21 September 2013, at approximately 19:00 hours, a journalist and human rights activist Sergey Naumov phoned a colleague and said that he was detained by police. His location is still not known. The case of Sergey Naumov requires an urgent intervention by the international community.
Our colleague, a freelance journalist and human rights activist Sergey Naumov, who lives in the city of Urgench of the Khorezm Region of Uzbekistan is missing. His phones are not responding, his neighbours and friends have not seen him for the last two days.
On 21 September 2013, at about 19:00 hours, Naumov phoned a colleague and said that he was detained by the police department. Where, by whom, and why he was arrested, is still unknown. Hayitboy Yakubov, the head of the Khorezm Region human rights organisation “Najot”, requested information from the Urgench City Police Department and the local police department where Naumov is registered as a resident, the Persecutor’s Office and the National Security Service of Uzbekistan. Everywhere, he was told that Sergei Naumov does not appear in the lists of detainees.
Sergey NAUMOV, date of birth 7 March 1963, a citizen of Uzbekistan.
– a freelance journalist, works in cooperation with international news agency “Fergana.Ru”, Institute for War and Peace Reporting, journal published by the Academy of Science of Uzbekistan “Ecological Safety and Civil Initiative” (“Fan” (Science) publishing house), and “Politzhurnal” (Moscow, Russia).
– the winner of the national contest for “Best online publication on a political issue”;
– the winner of the national on contest environmental journalism in the category “Environmental Protection” in 2005;
– the winner of the national contest “The UN Conventions on Ecology” in 2006;
– author of screenplay of film “07.07.07” about the ecological disaster in the Aral Sea region created in cooperation with “Wilton Films” (Britain) in 2007;
– a member of the filming crew of a FIDH film about М. Tadjibaeva, a human rights activist, in 2008;
– a member of the filming crew of an “Amnesty International” film about М. Tadjibaeva, a human rights activist, in 2008;
– co-author of the Report on the state of freedom of speech, expression and of the press inUzbekistan for the session of the UN Council on Human Rights under the UPR Procedure, December 2008;
– the winner of the national competition for the best coverage of the Uzbek-American relations in 2009;
Sergey Naumov is the author and a participant of the following projects in the field of development of the mass-media:
а) “Airwaves for businesswomen”, carried out by the Association of Businesswomen of the Khorezm Region under the Small Grants Programme of the Netherlands Embassy in Moscow, 1998;
b) “Promotion of Reproductive Health as a Factor in Poverty Reduction” executed by the Khorezm Region branch of the Uzbek Association of Reproductive Health under the grant from the World Bank, 2002;
c) three documentaries, “No one’s River”, “Waves of Sadness”, “Zarafshan – the pain of Bukhara”, filmed in the framework of the program “Support for public participation in the Central Asian Initiative on Sustainable Development”, funded by the European Union, 2005.
Naumov is also the author and a participant of the projects for:
d) Journalists’ Centre “Intercontact” (“Healthy City” – the Small Grants Programme of the Netherlands Embassy in Moscow; “SOS: Ecology!” funded by the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC);
e) the initiative group – “Dono” and the youth club “Nadejda” (Hope) funded by the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia, 2001-2003.
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The disappearance of Sergey Naumov is causing a particular concern, because he has been repeatedly threatened by the law enforcement agencies of Uzbekistan. These anonymous threats were repeated over the phone and the Internet. Naumov annoyed the Uzbek authorities most by his continuous interest in the effects of forced labour, the environmental situation in the Aral Sea and the unlawful forced relocation of residents of the Urgench City. Sergei Naumov is a law-abiding person and enjoys the confidence of the large number of population.
The case of Sergey Naumov requires an urgent intervention of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the European Union Special Representative for Human Rights, the Special Rapporteur of the European Union for Central Asia and other international organisations, diplomats of democratic countries.
The Association for Human Rights in Central Asia (AHRCA) urges all interested parties, organisations and the media to draw attention to the fate of the journalist Sergey Naumov and make every effort to bring about his early release.
The Association for Human Rights in Central Asia (AHRCA) draws the attention of the international community to the fact that the lack of information on the whereabouts of Sergey Naumov is contrary to the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the commitments made by this country by ratification of the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Articles 9, 10, 14, 19, 26), the UN Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognised Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, and the UN Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment (principles 1 2, 4, 6, 12, 21).
The Association for Human Rights in Central Asia (AHRCA) emphasises that our colleague is in danger and in need of support.