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Woman Sues Uzbek President, Kazakh Ministry Over Son's Death

ASTANA/TASHKENT -- A Kazakh woman has filed a lawsuit against Uzbek President Islam Karimov and the Kazakh Interior Ministry following her son's unexplained death in Uzbekistan last year, RFE/RL's Uzbek and Kazakh services report.

Tatyana Nazarova is seeking from each defendant damages of some $7 million for the suspicious death of her son, Ivan Nazarov. She filed her case in court in the western Kazakh city of Alga.

Nazarov, who was 28, was among 27 truck drivers from the western Kazakh region of Aqtobe who were detained on February 26 by Uzbek police after crossing the Uzbek border. They were taken to Nukus, a city in the Karakalpakstan region.

The truck drivers said they unintentionally crossed the border due to a lack of road signs. But a court in Karakalpakstan found the drivers guilty of illegally crossing the border and smuggling construction materials into Uzbekistan.

The court ruled the drivers must each pay a large fine and ordered that their trucks be confiscated. Nazarov's fellow drivers found out about his death during the trial when they were shown a photo of a body that they were told was found about 5 kilometers from the Kazakh border.

Nazarova's lawyer, Aydos Sadykov, told RFE/RL that an examination of Nazarov's exhumed body by the local Kazakh Interior Ministry office showed broken bones, a missing hand and teeth, and other signs that Nazarov had been beaten severely prior to his death.

Almat Imangaliev, a spokesman for the Aqtobe region's Interior Ministry, told RFE/RL that due to the decomposition of the body the autopsy failed to determine the cause of death and the case was closed.

The Uzbek Foreign Ministry, the Kazakh Embassy in Uzbekistan, and the Kazakh Interior Ministry were contacted by RFE/RL but they said they could not comment on the issue.