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Kazakhstan Urged Not To Send Kyrgyz Asylum Seeker Home

MOSCOW -- The Moscow-based human rights organization Memorial says that a Kyrgyz citizen seeking political asylum was extradited by Russian officials to Kyrgyzstan this week, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Abdulrasul Mamarakhimov, 48, from Kyrgyzstan's Osh Oblast is wanted by Kyrgyz authorities for allegedly fomenting ethnic, racial, and religious hatred.

Vitaly Ponomarev, Memorial's director of Human Rights Monitoring in Central Asia, told RFE/RL that Mamarakhimov has been working as a labor migrant in Russia since the beginning of 2008.

Ponomarev says that although Mamrakhimov's appeal for political asylum was scheduled to be discussed by a court in Novosibirsk Oblast on October 16, Russian officials had already extradited him extradited him.

Mamarakhimov is currently in a detention center in the Kazakh city of Balkhash awaiting a convoy from Kyrgyzstan.

International human rights organizations are urging Kazakhstan's prosecutor-general and the UN Office in Almaty not to send Mamarakhimov to Kyrgyzstan. They say Mamarakhimov may face torture and politically motivated charges in his homeland.