BBC Uzbek office to close

The BBC World Service’s office in Uzbekistan is being suspended, following repeated harassment of its journalists.

The Tashkent bureau, in operation for 10 years, will close for at least six months, pending a decision on its long-term future.

Intimidation
and harassment of BBC staff began after the service carried reports
about the uprising in Andijan and the involvement of Uzbek troops in
the killings on 13 May.

In October, BBC World Service journalist
Jenny Norton was banned from returning to the country after being
accused by the government of assisting Islamic extremists in the
Andijan revolt. A further seven BBC journalists have left Uzbekistan
after threats and harassment from the authorities.

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