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Polish Human Rights Activist Barred From Kyrgyzstan

15 September 2004 -- A Polish human rights activist was barred today from entering Kyrgyzstan because he was on a blacklist in Belarus that denied him entry there.

Pawel Kazanecki, chairman of the Warsaw-based Eastern European Democratic Center, was banned in Belarus for criticizing the government.

A spokesman for the Kyrgyz Border Guards Service, Gulnara Borubayeva, said Kazanecki, who arrived on a flight from Moscow, was sent back to the Russian capital. He was denied entry to Kyrgyzstan based on an intergovernmental agreement between former Soviet republics. The agreement requires signatory nations to deny entry to persons who have been banned in other countries.

A coalition of nongovernmental organizations criticized the decision. Edil Baisalov, head of the Coalition for Democracy and Civil Society, warned the incident could damage Kyrgyzstan's image abroad.

(AP/Kyrgyz Service)

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