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Kyrgyz Activists Protest Arrest Of Kazakh Rights Defender

BISHKEK -- Dozens of protesters have picketed the Kyrgyz Prosecutor-General's office in Bishkek, demanding the release of a Kazakh human rights activist from a detention center.

The protesters on August 3 also criticized Kyrgyz authorities for "allowing Kazakh secret services to freely operate on Kyrgyz soil."

Kazakh activist Aleksandr Osadchenko, who is wanted in Kazakhstan for alleged attempted fraud, was detained in Bishkek in June by Kazakh security officers and Kyrgyz law enforcement officers.

Osadchenko's lawyers told journalists in Bishkek on August 2 that Kazakh authorities are persecuting Osadchenko for speaking up on the situation in Kazakhstan's restive western oil town of Zhanaozen, where police shot dead at least 16 people last December.

They also said Osadchenko had asked for political asylum in Kyrgyzstan.

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