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Former Kyrgyz Government Official On Hunger Strike In Jail

Oksana Malevannaya

Oksana Malevannaya

BISHKEK -- The former head of Kyrgyzstan's presidential secretariat has begun a hunger strike in prison, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Oksana Malevannaya was arrested on May 4 for abuse of power while in office.

Her father, journalist Aleksandr Malevanny, told RFE/RL that his daughter started the hunger strike to protest "political oppression." He said it is useless to make any statement on the development because "Kyrgyzstan's current government is anticonstitutional and illegitimate."

Malevannaya's parents and her lawyers said they plan to contact the Russian State Duma and the U.S. State Department via the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek to urge them to pay attention to the human rights situation in Kyrgyzstan.

Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev and the Kyrgyz government were ousted in the wake of clashes between antigovernment protesters and security forces in Bishkek on April 7.

The country's interim government -- made up of former opposition leaders -- has ordered the arrest of several members of the previous administration and launched several criminal investigations into their activities. At least 20 former senior officials have been arrested, including Bakiev's former chief of
staff, Kanybek Joroev.