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Uzbek Police Arrest Opposition Leader

Sanjar Umarov (file photo) (RFE/RL) Tashkent, 24 October 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Authorities in Uzbekistan have arrested the leader of an opposition group called Sunshine Uzbekistan, RFE/RL's Uzbek Service reported.

Sanjar Umarov was arrested late on 22 October in the capital Tashkent on charges of economic crimes. Since his arrest, four other members of the group have been detained.

Nodira Hidoyatova, a coordinator for the group, says that police have also raided the group's offices in Tashkent, confiscating materials.

The Sunshine Uzbekistan coalition has been calling for the sacking of the government since a severe military crackdown on demonstrators in the eastern city of Andijon earlier this year.

(with AFP)