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Uzbek Refugee Returned To Uzbekistan For Trial

Uzbek refugee Haitjon Juraboev is back in Uzbek custody and may be on trial after being abducted in Kyrgyzstan last year, RFE/RL's Uzbek Service reports.

Igor Vorontsov of Human Rights Watch tells RFE/RL that "we suspect that there could be some kind of cooperation between the Uzbek and Kyrgyz special services."

Witnesses say a man claiming to be a Kyrgyz security officer detained Juraboyev, 35, in Bishkek last September as he entered a mosque.

Juraboev had been granted refugee status by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

His imprisonment in Uzbekistan was confirmed last month, and his closed trial reportedly started on January 30.

He is charged with extremism and illegally crossing the border.

"Juraboev is being tried by a court in a country that hunted him down abroad illegally," Holly Cartner, Human Rights Watch's Europe and Central Asia director, told RFE/RL.

Juraboev is one of more than a dozen refugees forcibly returned to Uzbekistan since the violent end of protests in Andijon in 2005.

RFE/RL's Uzbek Service contributed to this report