The prominent Uzbek documentary photographer and director Umida Ahmedova has been charged with defamation and damaging the country’s image because of the content of her photos and videos, RFE/RL’s Uzbek Service reports. (RFL/RL = Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty). Ahmedova took a series of photos and video at obscure Uzbek villages that she used for two documentaries. She says that Uzbek officials disapprove of her photos used in the documentaries “The Burden Of Virginity” and “Customs Of Men And Women,” which focus on poverty and gender inequality in Uzbekistan, and characterizes the charges against her as “groundless” and “absurd.”
A Tashkent police investigator told RFE/RL that experts in the Prosecutor-General’s Office found her photos and videos to be defamatory and insulting. The Uzbek Communication and Information Agency initiated the case against Ahmedova, who has been ordered not to leave Uzbekistan while an investigation is carried out. If found guilty, Ahmedova could face a fine and be sentenced to up to two years in a labor camp or up to six months in prison.
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