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COVID-19: The challenges for imprisoned journalists observing Ramadan (Demo)

The following is an excerpt of a 7 May CPJ blog post by Gulnoza Said/CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator.

This year, the Islamic month of Ramadan, which started on April 24 and will continue through May 23, is particularly challenging for Muslim journalists in jail to observe safely, their family members and friends told CPJ.

In many countries, prisoners rely on their families for food and medicine while behind bars. But this year, as families have been barred from visiting their loved ones due to COVID-19 lockdowns, jailed Muslim journalists have to cope with fasting on even fewer resources than before.

CPJ spoke to four people close to Muslim journalists imprisoned in Europe and Central Asia over messaging apps since Ramadan began. Their statements have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Khadicha Askarova, wife of Azimjon Askarov, jailed in Kyrgyzstan:

Askarov is an investigative journalist and human rights activist who has been serving a life sentence on retaliatory charges since June 2010. He has suffered from multiple health issues during his imprisonment.

I spoke to Azimjon recently. It was one of the two phone calls he is allowed to make every year from prison. He has been fasting. He fasts every year during Ramadan and even at other times, as Muslims ought to.

Read the full blog post on CPJ’s site.

The post COVID-19: The challenges for imprisoned journalists observing Ramadan appeared first on IFEX.


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