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Son Of Jailed Kyrgyz Politician Vows To Challenge Government

Ruslan Isakov seeks to create a political movement abroad.
Ruslan Isakov seeks to create a political movement abroad.
WASHINGTON -- Ruslan Isakov, the son of jailed former Kyrgyz Defense Minister Ismail Isakov, says he plans to start an opposition campaign against Kyrgyzstan's government, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

A former Kyrgyz army officer, Ruslan Isakov has been living in self-imposed exile in the United States since his father's arrest in late 2008.

He told RFE/RL his goal is to create a political movement abroad to challenge "the antidemocratic regime of President Kurmanbek Bakiev."

Isakov said that under Bakiev's leadership, Kyrgyzstan is coming closer to "a catastrophic downfall" as "journalists are being killed, the population is getting poorer, and opposition leaders are declared 'enemies of the nation.'"

On January 11, Ismail Isakov was found guilty of corruption and sentenced to eight years in jail. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and said the verdict against him was a "political order" made by top Kyrgyz officials.

Rights activists say the case against Isakov was politically motivated because the politician broke with Bakiev's government in 2008 and joined the opposition.