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Kyrgyz Ombudsman Defends Scarf-Wearing Schoolgirls --> (RFE/RL) May 25, 2006 -- Kyrgyzstan's ombudsman, Tursunbai Bakir-uulu, today criticized education officials in the southern Kyrgyz city of Jalalabad for trying to force schoolgirls who wear Muslim headscarves to adopt a more secular attitude.

Bakir-uulu also criticized a city official for likening in a recent press article those schoolgirls to potential "terrorists" who want to "build a caliphate in Kyrgyzstan." In Bakir-uulu's words, such methods and statements testify to the "absence of culture" of their authors.

The ombusdman also cautioned against resorting to "Soviet-style education methods," which he said run against the constitutional rights of citizens.


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