Uzbekistan

    Evidence has emerged that an anti-AIDS campaigner in Uzbekistan was sentenced to seven years in prison after authorities deemed his brochure incompatible with local traditions. Twenty-eight-year-old Maksim Popov, who heads anti-AIDS nonprofit Izis, was arrested in January 2009 and sentenced in September. But details of the sentencing, in a country where information is tightly controlled, have come to light only recently. RFE/RL’s Uzbek Service reports that Popov is currently serving his jail term in Uzbekistan’s Navoi prison. Izis is funded by a number of foreign donors, including the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Britain’s Department for International Development. The Russian-language booklet at issue, “HIV and AIDS Today,” gives detailed information about preventive measures to avoid the deadly disease. (RFE/RL)

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