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Critic Of Kyrgyz President Detained While Leaving Country


Orozaiym Narmatova

BISHKEK -- Orozaiym Narmatova, a member of the opposition United Kyrgyzstan political party and an outspoken critic of President Sadyr Japarov, has been detained in the southern city of Osh as she tried to leave the country.

Narmatova's lawyer, Seiitbek Dovlotov, told RFE/RL that his client was arrested at the Osh airport when trying to leave for Russia on September 10.

Dovlotov said that Narmatova, who currently lives in Russia, was detained on suspicion of publicly calling for people to seize power from the government, adding that the arrest was sanctioned by a court in Bishkek, the capital.

United Kyrgyzstan's leader, Adakhan Madumarov, called Narmatova’s detention "an act of blatant lawlessness," and demanded her immediate release.

The party's representative in Osh, Zamir Shamshidin, told RFE/RL that investigators have transferred Narmatova to Bishkek.

The Interior Ministry issued a statement saying that Narmatova, who is also a leader of the I Do Not Agree and I Have Rights movements, was detained for "holding frequent gatherings in Russia at which she constantly expressed unfounded criticism targeting the Kyrgyzstan’s political leadership with the aim of increasing the mood among labor migrants and people residing in Kyrgyzstan to protest."

The ministry accused Narmatova of wanting to create conditions for inciting inter-regional hatred and aiming to seize power.

Narmatova came to Kyrgyzstan several days ago to attend a funeral for one of her relatives and was trying to return to Russia on September 10.

She has been one of Japarov's most-vocal critics, chiding him for failing to follow through on the promises to increase freedoms that he made when he came to power in the wake of anti-government demonstrations after disputed parliamentary elections in October.

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