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Kyrgyz Opposition Party Says One Of Its Members Detained

Bakyt Kalpetov (file photo) (RFE/RL) BISHKEK, November 24, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Kyrgyzstan's Ata Meken (Fatherland) opposition party says one of its members has been detained by Kyrgyz security services for unspecified reasons, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reported.

One of Bakyt Kalpetov's lawyers, Kasymbek Raiymkul-uulu, told RFE/RL he has been prevented from seeing his client, whom he says has started a hunger strike to protest his detention.

Ata Meken party leaders allege Kalpetov's detention is part of political pressure being exerted against the party because of its activities.

Tursunbek Akun, the head of the Human Rights Commission under the Kyrgyz president, told RFE/RL today that the commission has asked the security services to clarify the matter.

"The Ata Meken party appealed to us with a request [regarding Kalpetov's detention]," he said. "On their request, I am appealing to the National Security Service [to clarify his situation]."

On November 22, Kalpetov was briefly detained by Bishkek police in connection with his alleged involvement in an assault against the deputy director of state broadcaster MTRK. He denies the charges.

Party members are threatening to start protest actions if the Kyrgyz authorities do not free Kalpetov.

RFE/RL Central Asia Report

RFE/RL Central Asia Report

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