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Father's Death In Kyrgyz Custody Compounds Tragedy, Sparks Outrage

The suspect who died in custody, Mamataziz Bizrukov, had already lost a son to the violence in June 2010 (shown in file photo).
OSH, Kyrgyzstan -- Kyrgyz rights activists have expressed outrage over the death of a suspect in a detention center in southern Kyrgyzstan, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Mamataziz Bizrukov, 63, an ethnic Uzbek, died on September 1 in the Osh region. He was detained two months ago and charged with murder and robbery during the violent clashes between ethnic Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in Osh and Jalal-Abad in June 2010.

One of Bizrukov's sons is also in custody for his alleged role in that violence, in which another son of Bizrukov's died.

Ravshan Gapirov, the leader of the human rights organization Justice and Truth, told RFE/RL that Bizrukov "was beaten and tortured" when police apprehended him and when he was being questioned.

Osh police officials insist that Bizrukov was not tortured. They say there were no traces of violence or torture on his body, and that he suffered from heart problems and died of a heart attack.

Bizrukov was buried on September 2. His relatives refused to comment on his death.

On September 1, four police officers in Jalal-Abad were charged in connection with the death of an ethnic Uzbek who was allegedly severely beaten while in police custody. Usmanjan Kholmirzaev, a Russian citizen, died in a Jalal-Abad hospital on August 9, two days after being questioned by police about the deadly ethnic clashes.

Relations between local Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in Osh remain tense. More than 400 people were killed and thousands were injured and/or displaced in last year's violence. The majority of the victims were Uzbeks.

Read more in Kyrgyz here and here