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Kyrgyz Court Releases Opposition Member From Custody

(RFE/RL) BISHKEK, November 30, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Authorities in Kyrgyzstan have released opposition politician Bakyt Kalpetov from a week of custody stemming from a purported altercation with a state-television executive, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Fellow Ata Meken party members have accused officials of detaining Kalpetov for political reasons.

Kalpetov reportedly had abandoned a hunger strike he launched after he was taken into custody in late November, when his lawyer complained that he was not being allowed to see his client.

After he was allowed to visit Kalpetov in custody, lawyer Jumabek Shakirov said on November 27 that his client was being charged with hooliganism.

Party chairman Omurbek Tekebaev told RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service that a Bishkek district court freed Kalpetov today on condition that he not leave the city until an investigation is complete.

"The judge agreed to meet a petition filed by Kalpetov's lawyers and changed the measures taken against him," Tekebaev said. "He ordered his release under the responsibility of [two] members of parliament and after [Kalpetov] made a written pledge to not leave [Bishkek]."

Kyrgyzstan's National Security Service has accused Kalpetov of physically assaulting Beishenbek Bekeshov, the deputy director of the MTRK state broadcaster.

(with and AKIpress)

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