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Kazakh Refugees Stage Protest In Prague

Kazakh asylum-seekers stage a protest in Prague.
Kazakh asylum-seekers stage a protest in Prague.
PRAGUE -- Dozens of Kazakh refugees have staged a protest in downtown Prague.

The demonstrators held posters on February 7 in protest of a decision by Czech immigration authorities to deport some 200 Salafi Muslims back to Kazakhstan.

The refugees have been trying to gain asylum in the Czech Republic since 2006.

Earlier this month, they were officially informed that they would be deported since Czech officials said they would not face any oppression in Kazakhstan if they returned.

One protester, Anuar Muratov, told RFE/RL's Kazakh Service that many Salafi Muslims have been imprisoned in Kazakhstan and the Czech authorities do not realize what the Kazakh refugees might face if they return home.

Salafi is a Sunni Islamic movement that takes the ancestors of early Islam as exemplary models. Salafists do not recognized other branches of Islam.

Salafism was banned in Tajikistan in January.