Otabek Sattoriy, a blogger from Surkhandarya, was found guilty under three articles of the Administrative Responsibility Code and he was imposed a fine, the press service of the Prosecutor General’s Office reported.
The Investigation Department of the Surkhandarya regional DIA is investigating the criminal case against Sattoriy. During the investigation, a precautionary measure in the form of imprisonment was applied against him.
According to the Prosecutor General’s Office, the investigation body received complaints about the activities of Otabek Sattoriy in 7 cases, which are currently being clarified.
When examining the legality of instituting criminal proceedings, it was found that the Investigation Department under the regional DIA had not violated any of the laws. The investigation is overseen by the Prosecutor General’s Office.
Otabek Sattoriy was found guilty by the Termez city court on criminal proceedings under articles 40 (Slander), 41 (Insult), 202-2 (Dissemination of False Information) of the Administrative Responsibility Code and he was imposed a fine in the amount of 40 BCAs (9, 8 million soums).
Reportedly, this was due to the fact that in January 2021 he “spread false information on social networks, as well as insults and slander about the misappropriation of property and other illegal actions of employees of the “Denau Coal Depot” and the Zoo in the city of Termez.”
For information, it was previously reported that the blogger was charged only with extortion (Article 165 of the Criminal Code). The Investigation Department had said that he was arrested while extorting a phone worth 5 million soums. According to the Department, Sattoriy said the phone was broken at a dekhkan market in the Sherabad district. He demanded that the market manager should bring a new phone, otherwise he “would post videos on the internet showing negative developments in the market.”
MP Rasul Kusherbayev says the incident was actually different. According to him, a few months ago, when Otabek was studying prices of products at a dekhkan market in the Sherabad district, several violent market employees beat him and broke his phone. He complained to the police department; the district khokim asked him not to post the incidents on the Internet and promised to give him a new phone in return. He was arrested when he received a new mobile device instead of the broken one.
When the video went viral on the Internet, in which the blogger was being abducted by law enforcement, the public began to raise questions.
The most severe precautionary measure (imprisonment) for extortion, the fact that the trial was held in camera and a number of other similar cases have led to protests. Chairman of the Mass Media Foundation Komil Allamjanov, the British ambassador Tim Torlot and the USA-based Committee to Protect Journalists have issued statements condemning the arrest of Otabek Sattoriy.