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Kyrgyz Officials Deny Role In Activist's Disappearance

Akunov immediately after his reappearance 2 December 2004 -- Kyrgyz government officials are denying involvement in the disappearance of Tursunbek Akunov, a prominent rights activist who reappeared yesterday after being missing for more than two weeks.

Akunov, head of the Human Rights Movement of Kyrgyzstan, told RFE/RL from a Bishkek hospital that he had been held by Kyrgyz security officials since he went missing on 16 November while campaigning for the resignation of President Askar Akaev.

But Tokon Mamytov, deputy head of Kyrgyzstan's National Security Agency, told RFE/RL late yesterday that security officers were not involved in the alleged abduction and charged that the disappearance was "a staged political show."

"No, no. The National Security Service and the Ministry of Internal Affairs had no involvement regarding a detainment [of Akunov]," Mamytov said.

A spokesman for the Kyrgyz Interior Ministry, Joldoshbek Buzurmankulov, said he doubts Akunov's story because details of it are contradictory.

Akunov complained of a severe headache and said he was "gassed" by his captors. But doctors said medical tests showed no sign that Akunov was suffering the effects of any gas and that his condition was normal.


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