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Kyrgyz Interior Ministry Admits Wiretapping Of Activists' Phones


BISHKEK -- Kyrgyzstan's Interior Ministry, under pressure from several activists, has admitted that the phones of "some people" were wiretapped for one month early this year.

A ministry press service statement on September 1 said the move to eavesdrop on some phones came as part of investigations into mass rallies that started in October 2020 following the disputed results of parliamentary elections.

According to the statement, the phones were bugged from January 9 to February 10, in accordance with permission granted by the Birinchi Mai district court in Bishkek.

Anti-government demonstrations that started in October led to the resignation of the government and then President Sooronbai Jeenbekov.

The ministry's statement came two days after a group of the Central Asian nation's leading rights activists said sources informed them of the court decision to tap the phones of more than 100 of their colleagues.

The activists demanded an explanation for the move from the officials and called on Prosecutor-General Kurmankul Zulushev, Interior Minister Ulan Niyazbekov, and the judge of the Birinchi Mai district court, Chyngyzbek Berdimuratov, to resign.

Lawmaker Dastan Bekeshev, one of those whose phone was wiretapped, told RFE/RL on September 1 that the issue will be discussed at a session of parliament.

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