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Uzbek Refugee Released From Czech Detention

Uzbek refugees from Andijon at a Czech refugee camp in 2006 (file photo) (RFE/RL) July 25, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- An Uzbek refugee has been released from Czech detention, RFE/RL's Uzbek Service reports.

Zohid Mirzaev was detained along with Omanullo Maqsudov on an Interpol warrant while crossing the Czech-German border on July 3.

Uzbek authorities have demanded their extradition.

Germany has granted both men refugee status.

They fled Uzbekistan following the May 2005 violence in Andijon.

Lawyers for Maksudov and Mirzaev say their lives would be at risk if they are handed over to Tashkent.

Maqsudov remains in detention awaiting a court verdict.

Following the Andijon violence, more than 400 Uzbeks sought official refugee status outside the country.

In November 2001, a leading Uzbek opposition leader, Mohammad Solih, who'd been granted political asylum in Norway, spent time in a Prague jail cell based on an Uzbek extradition request.

He was later released by Czech authorities.

RFE/RL Central Asia Report

RFE/RL Central Asia Report

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