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Kyrgyz Court Says It Will Revise Ruling Against Jailed Rights Activist

BISHKEK -- Kyrgyzstan's Supreme Court says it is ready to revise its ruling against jailed human rights defender Azimjan Askarov.

The Supreme Court's chairwoman, Ainash Tokbaeva, said on April 25 that its decision in December 2011 to uphold Askarov's conviction by a lower court must be revised in order to comply with a call from the UN Commission on Human Rights.

The UN body said on April 21 that authorities in Bishkek should release Askarov from prison after the rights activist complained that charges against him were politically motivated.

Askarov, a Kyrgyz national of Uzbek origin, is serving a life sentence on charges that he was an organizer behind deadly clashes between ethnic Uzbeks and Kyrgyz citizens in southern Kyrgyzstan in 2010.

He also was convicted of involvement in the murder of a policeman who was killed during the violence.

More than 450 people, mostly ethnic Uzbeks, were killed in the clashes.

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