May 25, 2006 -- Kyrgyzstan's ombudsman, Tursunbai Bakir-uulu, today criticized education officials in the southern Kyrgyz city of Jalalabad for trying to force schoolgirls who wear Muslim headscarves to adopt a more secular attitude.
Bakir-uulu also criticized a city official for likening in a recent press article those schoolgirls to potential "terrorists" who want to "build a caliphate in Kyrgyzstan." In Bakir-uulu's words, such methods and statements testify to the "absence of culture" of their authors.
The ombusdman also cautioned against resorting to "Soviet-style education methods," which he said run against the constitutional rights of citizens.
RFE/RL Central Asia Report