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Kazakhstan Extradites Kyrgyz Citizen To Uzbekistan

ALMATY -- Kazakh officials have extradited a Kyrgyz citizen of Uzbek origin to Uzbekistan, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Tashkenbai Aubakirov, a senior aide to the Almaty city prosecutor, told RFE/RL that Khurshid Kamilov was wanted in Uzbekistan for alleged involvement in the murder of two Uzbek police and participation in extremist and terrorist activities.

Kamilov was detained during Almaty police's "Migrant" operation in June to locate illegal immigrants. His extradition took place last week.

No comment was immediately available from Kyrgyz officials.

Meanwhile, 29 Uzbek citizens detained by Kazakh authorities as illegal immigrants have been held in Kazakhstan's National Security Committee jail since mid-June.

Many of their wives came on September 13 to the Almaty City Prosecutor's Office to demand their husbands' immediate release.

According to Kazakh law, they say their husbands can be held in pretrial detention for only three months.

One of the Uzbek women, Rano Jalalkhonova, told RFE/RL that her husband and his comrades have been on a hunger strike in jail since September 9.

Another Uzbek woman, Mutavar Suleimanova, told RFE/RL that if her husband is extradited to Uzbekistan he might be sentenced to death or life in prison for being a devoted Muslim.

"We have nothing to do with religious extremism. We are ordinary Muslims, praying five times a day," she said. "If Kazakhstan does not want to have us as refugees, we will seek asylum in another country."

Aubakirov, who met with the women in front of the Almaty City Prosecutor's Office, told them that on August 31 the United Nations' High Commissioner's Office in Almaty annulled its decision to provide the detained Uzbek nationals with refugee status and therefore the Kazakh Prosecutor-General's Office has decided to extradite all of them to Uzbekistan.

Denis Dzhivaga, an official at the Almaty-based Kazakh Bureau for Human Rights, told RFE/RL that the lawyers of the 29 detained Uzbek citizens have not been able to visit their clients during the three months.

Kazakhstan currently holds the chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.