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RFE/RL Urges Release of Salih

(Prague, Czech Republic–December 5, 2001) RFE/RL President Thomas A. Dine sent a letter today to the Public Prosecutor of the City of Prague and the Municipal Court of Prague, calling for the release from detention in a Czech prison of Uzbek human rights activist Mohammed Salih while vouching for his character and guaranteeing that Salih would remain “within the Czech Republic until a decision is entered by the court.”

Salih was detained on arrival at Prague’s Ruzyne Airport on 28 November, on the basis of an Interpol warrant. Since that time, the Norwegian government — where Salih was granted political asylum — and many non-governmental organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the International Helsinki Federation have called for Salih’s release. Salih was invited to visit the Prague Broadcast Center of RFE/RL. RFE/RL has worked closely with Czech, Norwegian and American authorities and Salih’s family throughout his ordeal.

The text of Dine’s letter is attached.