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Kyrgyz Conscript Hospitalized After Hazing

Kyrgyz Defense Ministry Official Toktogul Kakchekee

Kyrgyz Defense Ministry Official Toktogul Kakchekee

BISHKEK -- The Kyrgyz Defense Ministry has launched an investigation into the beating of a young recruit in a military unit, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Toktogul Kakchekeev of the Defense Ministry told RFE/RL that on May 26, Chubak Bakyt Uulu, 18, who was drafted to the Kyrgyz army just eight days ago, was hospitalized with serious injuries after a sergeant beat him.

Bakyt Uulu told RFE/RL that the sergeant beat him after he told him that he felt unwell and was not able to clean a toilet.

Bakyt Uulu was suffering abdominal pains and could not move. When he said he might have appendicitis, the sergeant kicked him twice in the belly and he passed out

Bakyt Uulu was hospitalized and diagnosed with a burst appendix. He was immediately operated on, and his condition is now satisfactory.

Bakyt Uulu said he was surprised to learn that the beating of young army recruits is a common occurrence.

"I voluntarily joined the army thinking that I would serve my motherland. I am still ready to serve my motherland, but my current state of health does not allow me to do so," he said.

Bakyt Uulu said several officers and sergeants approached him after he was hospitalized and urged him not to reveal what had happened.

He added that he does not want to return to the same military unit after he recovers.

Kakchekeev told RFE/RL that experts will investigate the case thoroughly and make recommendations to the ministry on how to prevent similar incidents in future.

Hazing has long been a serious problem in the Kyrgyz army, proving lethal in some cases.

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