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Kyrgyz Parliament Elects New Ombudsman

Kyrgyzstan's new ombudsman Bakyt Amanbaev
BISHKEK -- The Kyrgyz parliament has elected the country's new ombudsman.

Bakyt Amanbaev, 45, a former RFE/RL correspondent, was sworn in on October 3.

Meanwhile, former ombudsman Tursunbek Akun continues the hunger strike he started in mid-September to protest his ouster and to demand the resignation of top officials allegedly involved in the early release from prison of a reputed crime boss.

Akun insists that top officials in the Prosecutor-General’s Office and Interior Ministry were responsible for the early release of Aziz Batukaev in April.

Batukaev subsequently left Kyrgyzstan for Russia.

Kyrgyz lawmakers dismissed Akun from the ombudsman's post in June over Batukaev's release and alleged financial irregularities in the ombudsman's office.

Akun says his health is deteriorating.