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Jailed Kyrgyz Rights Activist Transferred To Bishkek


Nurbek Toktakunov, Azimjan Askarov's lawyer, said his client's health was satisfactory and nobody was harassing him at the Bishkek jail.

Nurbek Toktakunov, Azimjan Askarov's lawyer, said his client's health was satisfactory and nobody was harassing him at the Bishkek jail.

BISHKEK -- A jailed Kyrgyz human rights activist of Uzbek origin was transferred from a jail in the southern Jalal-Abad region to a detention center in Bishkek this week, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Azimjan Askarov's lawyer, Nurbek Toktakunov, told RFE/RL today that his client's health was satisfactory and nobody was harassing him at the Bishkek jail.

Askarov, who was arrested on June 13 in the wake of deadly clashes between ethnic Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in southern Kyrgyzstan, was reportedly severely beaten while in jail in the Bazar-Korgon district.

International rights watchdog Amnesty International issued a statement on August 5 expressing concern about Askarov's safety and his rights.

Kyrgyz police officials and Ombudsman Tursunbek Akun stated on August 5 that Askarov was not beaten by police or prison guards while he was in Bazar-Korgon.

Askarov himself told friends and relatives that he was beaten not by police but by an individual with whom he shared his cell in Bazar-Korgon.

However, his lawyer said his client had to say that in order to prevent any retaliation or further pressure from the jail guards.

Askarov is being detained on suspicious of involvement in organizing the unrest in mid-June that left at least 356 people dead and forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes.
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