Washington, DC: Freedom Now has learned that prominent Uzbek journalist and human rights activist Dilmurod Saidov received a family visit on April 27, 2012 at special facility #36 where he is serving a twelve and a half year prison sentence. Mr. Saidov celebrated his 50th birthday on April 29 imprisoned on false extortion charges. Mr. Saidov’s family is concerned his health is deteriorating and that he is not receiving proper treatment for his acute tuberculosis.

Despite being detained in a facility for tuberculosis inmates, Mr. Saidov’s health continues to worsen due to harsh prison conditions. Mr. Saidov is made to perform quick step marching several times a day. He is also forced to work several hours a day, limiting his time to rest and recover. Under mental and physical pressure, Mr. Saidov has lost considerable weight. He currently weighs only 123 lbs. He is 5’10”.

Prior to his detention, Mr. Saidov was renowned for defending farmer’s rights against government corruption in Samarkand since 2004. As a journalist, Mr. Saidov has written many critical articles about the government, accusing authorities of corruption and asserting that their corrupt dealings are impoverishing the region’s farmers. His articles appeared in many local newspapers, and were published by Internet news agencies such as BBC Uzbek Service, Voice of Freedom and Uznews.net.