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US Urges Fair Treatment of Uzbek Journalist

The United States is urging Uzbekistan to give fair and humane treatment to a journalist recently arrested for violating the Uzbek constitution.

State Department spokesman Adam Ereli says the United States is closely following the case of Sabirjon Yakubov, who was arrested April 11th. Mr. Ereli says Uzbek authorities have harassed other journalists in the past to limit publications of critical stories.

Mr. Yakubov, who works for the Hurriyat (Freedom) weekly, faces a 20 year prison sentence. He has recently written articles about Islam and political reforms, as well as the "Orange Revolution" in the Ukraine.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists says that if Mr. Yakubov is being held for expressing his religious and political beliefs he should be freed immediately.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.