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HRW Tells Kyrgyzstan To Stop Harassing Rights Monitors

Nigina Bakhrieva
Human Rights Watch is urging the Kyrgyz government to immediately stop harassing human rights monitors doing research in southern Kyrgyzstan.

Kyrgyz authorities recently denied entry to prominent Tajik human rights activist Nigina Bakhrieva. She was the third foreign advocate working in southern Kyrgyzstan to be denied entry or deported in 2009.

Bakhrieva was preparing a report about the arrests and sentencing of residents of the southern village of Nookat.

Nookat residents had taken to the streets in protest after they were denied the right to publicly celebrate the Eid al-Fitr festival marking the end of Ramadan.

In a statement, Andrea Berg, Central Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch, says: "Kyrgyzstan is increasingly harassing rights advocates investigating the government's abusive campaign in southern Kyrgyzstan. It's no coincidence that Bakhrieva was denied entry after having been in touch with Nookat lawyers."

HRW says the government is carrying out a campaign in the south against what it views as Islamic extremism.

Read HRW's full statement here.

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