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Mother Of Jailed Kyrgyz Politician Joins Hunger Strike

Ismail Isakov
Ismail Isakov
BISHKEK -- Anipa Mamatisaeva, the 85-year-old mother of jailed former Kyrgyz Defense Minister Ismail Isakov, joined a hunger strike today to demand the release of her son, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Isakov's supporters said in Bishkek today that Mamatisaeva is in a group of 16 hunger strikers, 10 in Isakov's home district of Alay and six in Bishkek.

Isakov was found guilty by a military court of corruption and sentenced to eight years in jail on January 11. He and his supporters say the case is politically motivated because of his opposition activities.

Over 1,500 citizens of Alay District, Isakov's native region, signed and sent a petition to President Kurmanbek Bakiev demanding Isakov's release.

Isakov was an ally of Bakiev after he came to power following the 2005 Tulip Revolution. Isakov served as defense minister from 2005-2008, after which he joined the opposition.