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Kyrgyz Deport Russian Rights Activist

Bakhrom Hamroev, pictured earlier this month in Osh

Bakhrom Hamroev, pictured earlier this month in Osh

A Russian human rights activist, Bahrom Hamroev, has been deported from Kyrgyzstan while gathering information connected with his work, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Hamroev is said to have been in the southern part of the country in an effort to collect information on alleged abuses against Muslims, who make up a majority of Kyrgyzstan's population.

He is a member of the Moscow-based Memorial Human Rights Center, a leading rights-advocacy group that has been critical of government abuses throughout the former Soviet Union.

A Memorial representative said a local rights activist, Izzatilla Rahmatillaev, was detained along with Hamroev.

Vitaly Ponomarev, the director of Memorial's Central Asian program, told RFE/RL that Hamroev's mobile phone and camera were confiscated by police in Osh and he was put on a flight back to Moscow.

Rahmatillaev was later released.

Islamic extremists are frequently blamed for antistate activities in all five of Central Asia's post-Soviet republics, none of which receive high marks from the U.S. government or international NGOs for their rights records.