Accessibility links

Breaking News

Kazakh Politician, Journalist Barred From Kyrgyzstan

BISHKEK -- The Kyrgyz opposition Ata Meken party says a Kazakh opposition leader and Kazakh journalist were barred from crossing the border into Kyrgyzstan, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Kazakh Social Democratic Party leader Marina Sabitova and well-known journalist Viktor Kovtunovsky were stopped by Kyrgyz border service on May 4 at the main border crossing near Bishkek.

Kyrgyz officials said the two Kazakhs are on a list of people banned from entering Kyrgyzstan until 2019 according to a law on foreign migration. But the Kazakhs were not allowed to see an official document on the ban.

Sabitova and Kovtunovsky were invited to Kyrgyzstan by the Ata Meken party.

Party spokesman Joomart Saparbaev said Kyrgyz authorities are using administrative resources to isolate opposition movements ahead of the July 23 presidential election and added that such actions hurt the country's image.