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Lawyers For Kyrgyz NGO Lodge Protest Over Raid

  • RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service

Two lawyers for the Kyrgyz nongovernmental organization Bir Duyno have filed a protest with the country's prosecutor general after a raid on the NGO's office in Osh.

Valeryan Vakhitov and Husanbay Saliev filed a complaint with the prosecutor's office accusing the State Committee for National Security (SCNS) of "illegal activities" in raiding the rights organization's Osh office.

SCNS agents confiscated computers, memory sticks, and computer discs during the raid.

Bir Duyno employees said the SCNS officers never explained the reason for the search and seizure of the organization's property.

Vakhitov and Saliev's homes were also searched.

They both claimed the raids were conducted in connection with the detention of U.S. citizen Umar Farooq, who met with Vakhitov and Saliev.

Farooq was in Kyrgyzstan doing interviews about the unrest in southern Kyrgyzstan in 2010 and the role of Islamic groups, some officially banned, in the region.

Farooq has been in police custody since March 25 and is being investigated on suspicion of publicly calling for the overthrow of the government and inciting interracial, ethnic, or religious hatred, with calls to violence.

With additional reporting from and