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Kyrgyz Opposition Figure Found Dead In Cuba

Mukhtar Omurakunov
Mukhtar Omurakunov
BISHKEK -- The leader of a small Kyrgyz opposition party has been found dead in Cuba, where he was vacationing, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

A Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry spokeswoman officially confirmed to RFE/RL on May 3 that Mukhtar Omurakunov was found dead on a beach near the Varadero resort in Cuba on April 30.

The official cause of death was given as drowning. His body has been returned to Kyrgyzstan via Moscow with the assistance of the Kyrgyz Embassy in Havana.

Omurakunov, 46, led the Zamandash (Contemporary) party that unites mainly Kyrgyz labor migrants in Russia and Kazakhstan. He was speaker of the so-called alternative parliament established by opposition groups not currently represented in the Kyrgyz parliament or government.

Omurakunov is survived by his wife and seven children.

Read more in Kyrgyz