Detained BBC journalist released on bail

A BBC journalist detained by security services in Tajikistan, Central Asia, has been released on bail.

Urunboy Usmonov was imprisoned on 13 June for allegedly being a member of banned Islamist group Hizbut-Tahrir, a claim that has been strongly denied.

The BBC and British and American embassies made repeated calls for his immediate release.

In a statement released this afternoon the BBC said Usmonov was ‘tired but very happy’and that his son had picked him up from prison in Khojand.

‘Urunboy would like to pass on a huge thank you to everyone for their support,’said the BBC.

‘We are waiting to see details of the terms of his release but we understand that he will be expected to stay in Khojand, at home, while the legal process takes its course.’

BBC Global News director Peter Horrocks said: ‘We are encouraged that Tajik authorities have considered our appeals. As we have said all along we believe Urunboy is innocent and all he was doing was his journalistic work for the BBC.

‘We know that his family and friends are delighted to have Urunboy back and are appreciative of the support from colleagues at the BBC and around the world.”

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