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Kazakh Woman Seeking Asylum Disappears In Bishkek

A Kazakh woman seeking asylum in Kyrgyzstan on a claim of religious persecution has gone missing, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz and Kazakh services report.

Samal Kismetova has not been seen by her family or friends since July 13. Originally from western Kazakhstan, she had been living with her family in Bishkek since 2009 while she is trying to obtain refugee status from the UN office in Bishkek.

Kismetova is a follower of the Salafi strain of Islam, which is considered extremist by Kazakh authorities.

Kismetova's husband, Dianat Erdeshov, told RFE/RL his wife left their apartment in Bishkek to visit a doctor on July 13 and did not return.

He said she and members of her family received threatening phone calls and text messages both before and after her disappearance.

Erdeshov has asked the UN Office in Bishkek and local police to help locate his wife.