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Kyrgyzstan Jails Opposition Figure On Terrorism Charges

  • RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service

Kyrgyz politician Nurlan Motuev (file photo)

Kyrgyz politician Nurlan Motuev (file photo)

A court in Bishkek announced on August 29 that it has sentenced a controversial opposition figure to seven years in jail on terrorism-related charges.

Kyrgyzstan's Supreme Court said Nurlan Motuev was found guilty on August 23 of publicly supporting terrorism and inciting ethnic, racial, and religious hatred.

The 46-year-old Motuev was arrested on May 13, a day after he took part in an opposition rally in Bishkek and purportedly called for the establishment of Shari'a law in Kyrgyzstan.

According to the charges against Motuev, he also expressed support for Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq during the Bishkek rally.

Motuev ran for president in 2009 election but received less than one percent of the vote.

Motuev had been part of various opposition groups in recent years before establishing a group in 2012 called the Patriotic Movement, which has called for the nationalization of Kyrgyzstan's mineral resources.