Igor Rotar In Uzbek Custody; May Be Deported to Kazakhstan
Contact: Christopher Swift , +1 202.483.8888
Washington, DC – The Jamestown Foundation has learned that independent journalist Igor Rotar was recently moved from Tashkent airport by Uzbek authorities.
Unnamed government sources report that Rotar was taken by car and may be deported to Kazakhstan. His current condition and whereabouts are unknown.
"Igor Rotar is a respected journalist known for balanced, unbiased reporting," said Jamestown President Glen Howard, "Spiriting him away under cover of darkness further injures Uzbekistan’s image in the eyes of Western governments."
Rotar was detained by the Uzbek Immigration Service on August 11th. As a Russian citizen traveling on a Russian passport, he did not require an Uzbek entry visa.
Uzbek authorities today told the Jamestown Foundation that Rotar was detained for failing to secure accreditation as a journalist before arriving in Tashkent. Major Western news organizations privately contested that claim, noting that Uzbek authorities routinely arrange accreditation for foreign journalists upon arrival.
"Igor Rotar is not an enemy of Uzbekistan," noted Howard, "His detention only benefits backward-thinking Uzbeks eager to discredit their own country, while undermining those enlightened officials who backed the 2002 U.S.-Uzbekistan Declaration on Strategic Partnership."
Rotar is a regular contributor to Eurasia Daily Monitor, the Jamestown Foundation’s flagship publication. Jamestown and other organizations continue to monitor the situation.
Founded in 1984, The Jamestown Foundation is an independent, non-partisan research institution dedicated to providing timely information concerning critical political and strategic developments in China, Russia, and Eurasia. Jamestown’s research and analysis is available to the public free-of-charge via Jamestown’s website, www.jamestown.org.