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Kyrgyz Opposition Politician's Pretrial Detention Extended

Jenish Moldokmatov
Jenish Moldokmatov

BISHKEK -- A court has extended by two months the pretrial detention of Kyrgyz opposition politician Jenish Moldokmatov, an outspoken critic of President Sadyr Japarov.

The Birinchi Mai district court in Bishkek on July 2 ruled that Moldokmatov's pretrial detention will continue until September 6.

Moldokmatov's lawyer, Urmat Sadykov, said his client will appeal the court's ruling.

Moldokmatov was arrested in early May and charged with organizing "mass disorder" in October during anti-government rallies against the official results of parliamentary elections.

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Moldokmatov has rejected the charge, calling it politically motivated.

Moldokmatov was one of the candidates to the Kyrgyz parliament in October who lost the election, according to official results.

He took part with thousands of others in the mass protests following the elections in Bishkek. The rallies led to the resignations of the government and then-President Sooronbai Jeenbekov.

Japarov was among several prominent politicians freed from prison by protesters during the unrest. He had been serving a 10-year prison sentence for hostage-taking during a protest against a mining operation in northeast Kyrgyzstan in October 2013. He maintains the charges against him were politically motivated.

Japarov easily won the January presidential election.

Moldokmatov's arrest came three days after Japarov signed into law constitutional amendments approved by a nationwide referendum in April that have been criticized by his opponents as a move to concentrate more powers in his hands.

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