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Tajik Human Rights Activist 'Not Allowed' Into Kyrgyzstan

Nigina Bakhrieva
Nigina Bakhrieva
Rights campaigners in Bishkek say a Tajik human rights activist was not allowed to enter Kyrgyzstan today, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Aziza Abdyrasulova, chairwoman of the Kylym Shamy (Torch of the Century) human rights center, told RFE/RL that border guards at Bishkek airport did not allow Nigina Bakhrieva to enter the country, saying they had an order barring her from entering until 2010.

Abdrasulova said Bakhrieva might have been added to a "black list" because of her work in monitoring the situation with human rights in Kyrgyzstan's south, in particular a report she was preparing about the arrests and subsequent sentencing of dozens of people in the southern village of Nookat in October 2008.

Nookat residents had taken to the streets in protest after they were denied the right to celebrate the Eid al-Fitr festival marking the end of Ramadan in a local stadium.

Dozens were sentenced for "organizing unsanctioned mass gatherings that led to mass disorder."

Human rights activists consider the Nookat case a politically motivated move by Kyrgyz authorities against Muslims.

Two Russian human rights activists, Vitaly Ponomaryov and Bahrom Hamroev, were deported from Kyrgyzstan's south on separate occasions earlier this year.