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Prominent Kyrgyz Rights Defender Called In For Questioning

Tolekan Ismailova

BISHKEK -- A prominent Kyrgyz rights defender who has sued President Almazbek Atambaev says she's been called in for questioning by the State Committee for National Security (UKMK).

Tolekan Ismailova, the director of the Bishkek-based Bir Duino-Kyrgyzstan (One World-Kyrgyzstan) rights group, told RFE/RL on June 1 that she refused to comply with the UKMK request, saying it was invalid without an official subpoena.

According to Ismailova, the action by the UKMK was linked to her professional activities.

Ismailova and another well-known Kyrgyz rights defender, Aziza Abdyrasulova, have recently sued Atambaev for publicly calling the two women "saboteurs" last month.

Ismailova's group and Abdyrasulova have criticized Kyrgyz authorities for failing to review a number of criminal cases linked to deadly clashes between ethnic Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in southern Kyrgyzstan in 2010.

On April 29, Ismailova's group strongly criticized a move by the authorities to seize a home belonging to Azimjan Askarov, an ethnic Uzbek political activist serving a life sentence after being convicted on charges linked to the deadly ethnic clashes.

Askarov has insisted the case is politically motivated.