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Kyrgyz Officials Open Nearly 1,300 Criminal Cases Related To Unrest

Doctors removing stitches from man with gunshot wounds following the ethnic violence in Osh in June.
Doctors removing stitches from man with gunshot wounds following the ethnic violence in Osh in June.
OSH, Kyrgyzstan -- The Osh city prosecutor says that nearly 1,300 criminal cases have been opened in the southern Kyrgyz city in relation to last month's deadly ethnic unrest, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Osh City Prosecutor Latip Jumabaev told RFE/RL 54 criminal suspects have been arrested since the ethnic clashes between Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in mid-June that left at least 316 dead and caused hundreds of thousands to flee their homes.

Jumabaev said dozens of suspects are still being sought by police in connection with the violence on charges such as kidnapping, murder, attempted murder, assaulting security officials, illegal possession of weapons, damaging private property, and arson.

He added that more than 30 people are still missing from the unrest.

International human rights groups and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay have reported physical abuse, torture, and the arbitrary detention of ethnic Uzbeks by Kyrgyz security forces in Osh.

Pillay said in a July 20 statement that her staff in Kyrgyzstan has received information from several sources suggesting that "local authorities are routinely turning a blind eye to illegal arrests, torture, and ill treatment of detainees leading to forced confessions."

Pillay's statement said more than 1,000 people had been detained in Osh and Jalal-Abad since the clashes.

The Kyrgyz Health Ministry released updated figures on July 19 regarding the unrest. It said of the 316 people confirmed killed during the violence from June 10-15, 247 were killed in the Osh region and 69 were killed in the Jalal-Abad region.

The ministry said 91 percent of those killed were men and that 52 percent of the deaths were caused by gunshot wounds, 18 percent by head wounds, and 16.5 percent from knife wounds.

Six percent of those killed died of burns or smoke inhalation.

It said that of the more than 2,300 people reported injured, 34 are still being treated in hospitals.