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Kyrgyzstan Lifts State Of Emergency In South


The curfew has been in place since June 11
The curfew has been in place since June 11
OSH, Kyrgyzstan -- Authorities in Kyrgyzstan have lifted the state of emergency in southern regions, which were hit by a wave of ethnic violence earlier this year, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Sooronbay Jeenbekov, the acting governor of Osh Oblast, told RFE/RL the situation in the region has stabilized and it is necessary to begin preparing for parliamentary elections scheduled for October 10.

Jeenbekov added that additional police patrols will be deployed after the curfew is lifted.

But Izatilla Rakhmatullaev, a leader of ethnic Uzbeks in Osh, told RFE/RL that the Uzbek community has mixed feelings about ending the curfew.

"Since the [parliamentary] elections have been scheduled, the curfew should be lifted," he said. "However, [many people] here think that in order to preserve safety, the curfew should be prolonged. [We] asked the nation's leader to prolong the curfew for 20 more days, namely [to make] it from [midnight] to 5 a.m. We think that would be very good."

The curfew -- which lasts from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. -- was introduced in the Jalal-Abad, Osh, and Uzgen regions, as well as in the Aravan and Kara-Suu districts of Osh Oblast on June 11.

Clashes between ethnic Uzbeks and Kyrgyz from June 10-15 left at least 356 people dead and forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes.

Several international human rights organizations have reported that Kyrgyz police were arbitrarily detaining and often beating Uzbeks in the Osh region. Such attacks have left many Uzbeks afraid to leave their homes.