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Kyrgyz Ombudsman Agrees With Freedom House Criticism

Kyrgyz Ombudsman Tursunbek Akun
Kyrgyz Ombudsman Tursunbek Akun
Kyrgyz Ombudsman Tursunbek Akun said today that 2008 was a setback for Kyrgyzstan in terms of human rights.

Akun told RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service that he supports the critical Freedom House report on the human rights situation in Kyrgyzstan last year.

Akun said that shortcomings in Kyrgyzstan include the closure of the independent newspapers "De Facto" and "Alibi"; the discontinuation of RFE/RL's Kyrgyz-language TV and radio broadcasts by state-owned TV and radio; and the detention of former minister and lawmaker Ishenbai Kadyrbekov, who was kept in pretrial detention for more than six months.

Akun, a former opposition leader, added that he will present his proposals on ways to improve human rights to a parliamentary committee in February.