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Kyrgyz Activists Protest Release Of Turk Suspected Of Assault

BISHKEK -- Dozens of Kyrgyz youth activists have picketed the Supreme Court in Bishkek to demand an investigation into the release of a Turkish citizen accused of assaulting a Kyrgyz woman, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

The protest on June 7 came after Gunes Yilmaz was released from a detention center and asked not to leave Bishkek while investigations are under way.

YIlmaz was released despite a ruling earlier in the day by the Supreme Court upholding an April decision by Bishkek's Birinchi Mai District court to remand him in pretrial detention.

Yilmaz's current whereabouts are unknown.

Yilmaz is suspected of assaulting and injuring Cholpon Orozbaeva, a fellow employee at a Bishkek-area Beta supermarket.

He was arrested on April 16 after Orozbaeva was hospitalized with what doctors said was internal bleeding most likely caused by being punched.

Orozbaeva told RFE/RL in April that Yilmaz attacked her after they argued over a business-related issue. Yilmaz denied any wrongdoing.

Mavlyan Askarov, leader of the Youth Council movement whose members were protesting, told RFE/RL that the activists want the authorities to look into the case and ascertain how and on whose orders the suspect was released.

"The Kyrgyz judicial system works in a strange way, because the rights of local citizens are often ignored when the rights of foreigners are on the agenda," he said.

Read in Kyrgyz here