Three leading members of a group of Kazakh Muslims seeking asylum in the Czech Republic have been detained, RFE/RL's Kazakh service reports.
The leader of the group, Kairat Dosmetov, was detained March 3 in the town of Kostelec-nad-Orlici. Asylkhan Zhantasov was detained in Prague late on March 2. A third member of the group, Khamit Nurgaliev, a former imam of Atyrau city in western Kazakhstan, was detained on March 2 in eastern Czech Republic.
Czech authorities have not commented on the detentions.
The 205 refugees say they are Salafi Muslims and have been seeking asylum since 2006. They say they will be persecuted if they return to Kazakhstan.
Czech authorities rejected their applications for asylum in January, and they now face deportation.
On February 7, the Kazakh Salafi Muslims held a protest
in Prague to demand that the authorities reconsider their decision.