Human Rights Watch says authorities in Uzbekistan are blocking access to the trial of a prominent human rights defender who denounced a government crackdown on protesters last year.

The New York-based organization said Uzbek law enforcement officers are blocking access to the court building in a small town near Tashkent where the trial for Mutabar Tojiboyeva is being held. Tojiboyeva is charged with a series of crimes, including blackmail, embezzlement and slander.

Human Rights Watch says police have set up check points along roads leading to the town. The organization said human rights observers and relatives of the defendant have been prevented from getting to the trial.

Tojiboyeva was arrested last year after she denounced the government's crackdown on protesters in Andijan, where government troops fired on demonstrators. Unofficial estimates said more than 500 people were killed, but the government said fewer than 200 people died.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.