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Kyrgyz Rights Activists Demand Security For Lawyers

Aziza Abdrasulova, leader of the human rights group Kylym Shamy.
BISHKEK -- Dozens of Kyrgyz rights activists picketed the Prosecutor-General's Office on October 21 to demand protection and security for Kyrgyz lawyers and activists, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Aziza Abdrasulova, chairwoman of the Bishkek-based Kylym Shamy (Torch of the Century) human rights group, told RFE/RL the protesters are from six rights organizations. She said their main demand is for all lawyers and human rights activists in Kyrgyzstan to be provided security while doing their jobs.

The protest comes after several lawyers defending ethnic Uzbeks in trials related to the ethnic violence between Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in southern parts of the country in mid-June were attacked and beaten. Human rights activists have also faced threats and intimidation while working in the Osh and Jalal-Abad regions on issues related to the unrest.

The picketers held placards saying: "The Lawyer Is the Guarantor Of Justice," "Everyone Has A Right To Defend Themselves," "A Just Trial Means Rule Of Law."