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Ethnic Uzbek Suspects, Lawyers Beaten In Southern Kyrgyzstan

OSH, Kyrgyzstan -- Defendants and the lawyers in criminal cases resulting from the June ethnic clashes in Kyrgyzstan's southern city of Osh have been beaten outside of a courthouse, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Before the trial on October 14 of several ethnic Uzbeks charged with killing two Kyrgyz youths in a local market in mid-June, the defendants and their lawyers -- Nazgul Suyunbaeva, Kubanych Joroev, and Dinara Turdumatova -- were reportedly beaten by relatives of the two victims.

Suyunbaeva told RFE/RL that her driver was severely beaten and is currently in the hospital.

The incident occurred one day after a similar beating took place in Osh.

On October 13, right before the trial of an ethnic Uzbek charged with the murder of two policemen during the unrest in June, his two relatives and his lawyers -- Tatyana Tomina and Dilbar Turdieva -- were beaten by the victims' relatives and other supporters.

Both trials have been suspended due to the violence.

Osh Oblast Deputy Prosecutor Ryskul Baktybaev told journalists that investigations have been launched into the incidents.