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Kyrgyzstan Sentences Ethnic Uzbek Leaders, In Absentia, Over 2010 Bloodshed

A court in southern Kyrgyzstan has sentenced leaders of the Uzbek community to long prison terms in absentia after convicting them of involevemnt in deadly ethnic clashes in 2010.

The Kyrgyz general-prosecutor's office said on November 4 that fugitive ethnic Uzbek community leaders from the southern cities of Osh and Jalal-Abad, Kadyrjan Batyrov and Inom Abdurasulov, had been sentenced to life in prison. Another leader, Karamat Abdullaeva, was sentenced to 16 years in jail.

All three were tried in absentia by the court in Osh. They were found guilty in inciting interethnic hatred and organizing clashes between ethnic Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in southern Kyrgyzstan in June 2010.

Some 450 people were killed in the clashes and thousands more were injured or displaced. The majority of the victims were ethnic Uzbeks.

In 2011, Batyrov, who is currently in Sweden, has been sentenced to life in jail in absentia on similar charges by a court in Jalal-Abad province.

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