Information hero

Mutabar Tadjibayeva

Six years ago, Mutabar Tadjibayeva was fighting for her life in an Uzbek prison. While jailed from October 2005 to June 2008, this independent journalist and human rights right defender spent more than 100 days in solitary and was subjected to monstrous forms of mistreatment for refusing to sign a confession. Her crime? Documenting human rights violations by the Uzbek authorities for several years, defending their victims and, above all, investigating the 2005 Andijan massacre, in which hundreds died when soldiers opened fire on protesters. Freed in 2008 after being given the Martin Ennals Award, she now lives in France. Despite a new smear campaign, she has not lost any of her combativeness, running an NGO called the “Fiery Hearts Club”, which has launched the news site Jarayon. Using a vast network of citizen-journalists and local activists, this trilingual site is one of the few sources of independent information about Uzbekistan and its neighbours.