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Kyrgyz Communist Leader Jailed For Two Months

Communist Party leader Ishak Masaliev
Communist Party leader Ishak Masaliev
BISHKEK -- A Bishkek court ruled today that Communist Party leader Iskhak Masaliev should be detained for two months in connection with the takeover of government buildings in southern Kyrgyzstan last week, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz and Russian services report.

Masaliev, 50, has officially been charged with organizing mass disorder on May 12-13 in the southern cities of Osh, Batken, and Jalal-Abad, where loyalists of former President Kurmanbek Bakiev briefly occupied several regional government headquarters.

Masaliev was arrested on May 14 with Usen Sydykov, a former adviser to Bakiev, after alleged recordings of the two were made public by the interim government in which two people were heard planning the takeover of the administration buildings in those three cities.

On May 16, people supporting Masaliev and a group opposed to him verbally confronted each other near the National Security Service building in Bishkek.

Kyrgyz authorities say the situation in the south -- where Bakiev loyalists and supporters of the interim government clashed last week -- has stabilized.

Meanwhile, Russian Consul-General in Osh Mukhamadzhan Ziganshin died of reported heart failure on May 16. He was 59 years old.

In Bishkek, the former head of Bakiev's presidential secretariat, Oksana Malevannaya, was transferred today from a detention center to her home where she will be under house arrest.

Her father, Aleksandr Malevanny, told RFE/RL that his daughter would stay at home until the completion of an investigation into charges that she abused her power while in office.

Malevannaya began a hunger strike in jail last week to protest her May 4 arrest.

Bakiev and his government were ousted in the wake of clashes between antigovernment protesters and security forces in Bishkek on April 7 in which 86 people died and hundreds were injured.