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Kyrgyz Defendant In Atambaev Case Denied Release

Ravshan Jeenbekov
Ravshan Jeenbekov

BISHKEK -- A court in Bishkek has again refused to release jailed Kyrgyz politician Ravshan Jeenbekov, whom the country's Committee for Civic Control human rights organization has declared a political prisoner.

The Birinchi Mai district court in Bishkek on December 8 ruled that the former parliament member (no relation to ex-President Soornbai Jeenbekov) must remain in pretrial detention, rejecting a request from his defense team for a transfer to house arrest.

Jeenbekov's lawyers said last month that their client needed to travel abroad to receive medical treatment for an illness related to problems with his liver.

Jeenbekov was arrested in December 2019 in a criminal case related to a violent two-day standoff in August that year between security forces and supporters of former President Almazbek Atambaev, which resulted in the death of a top security officer and more than 170 injuries -- 79 of them sustained by law enforcement officers.

Jeenbekov, Atambaev, and 12 other men and women are charged with murder, attempted murder, threatening or assaulting representatives of the authorities, hostage taking, and forcible seizure of power.

Atambaev is currently serving a prison term he received in another case related to the illegal release from prison of a notorious criminal kingpin in 2013.

During mass anti-government rallies in October 2020 sparked by controversial parliamentary elections that led to resignation of the government, Jeenbekov was released from a detention center and placed under house arrest.

In early August, Jeenbekov was rearrested after a court ruled that he had violated the conditions of his house arrest.

Jeenbekov has rejected all of the charges against him, calling them politically motivated.

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