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Prominent Kyrgyz Activist Links Son's Detention To Her Work

Veteran Kyrgyz human rights activist Aziza Abdrasulova
BISHKEK -- One of Kyrgyzstan's leading human rights activists says her enemies are targeting her through her son, who was briefly detained by police as a robbery suspect this week, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

The allegation was made by Aziza Abdrasulova, the veteran leader of the Bishkek-based human rights organization Kylym Shamy (Torch of the Century).

Abdrasulova told RFE/RL that unknown persons forced her son Marsel, 19, into a car near her house on the outskirts of Bishkek on September 20. She said he was kept in custody for two hours without a lawyer or human rights defenders.

Abdrasulova says her son's rights were violated, as he was taken to a police station by force without any explanation or an arrest warrant.

"When my daughter tried to challenge the unknown persons who took away my son, she was rudely pushed out of the way of the car, which is illegal. My son's right to have a lawyer [present] while being interrogated was also violated," Abdrasulova said.

"They tried to intimidate and frighten me several times before," she said. "Since they were not able to 'break' me, they are now going after my son." She did not specify who "they" are.

Abdrasulova was arrested, threatened, and beaten for her activism in the course of more than a decade of human rights work under the regimes of former Presidents Askar Akaev and Kurmanbek Bakiev.

More recently she has been accused by some officials of a pro-Uzbek bias in her work -- along with international human rights organizations -- looking into last year's deadly violence between ethnic Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in southern Kyrgyzstan.

Last December she was awarded the state's highest honor by President Roza Otunbaeva.

Possible Link To Parliament Deputies

Abdrasulova said her son's detention might be connected with her organization's most recent investigations of torture cases in Kyrgyz prisons.

Bishkek Deputy Chief of Police Pamir Asanov told RFE/RL that Marsel Abdrasulov was detained as a suspect in a case involving a robbery and attack on a resident of Bishkek in August.

Asanov said Abdrasulov was not threatened or assaulted during his arrest or in while custody.

Abdrasulov's lawyer Nurbek Toktakunov told RFE/RL that Abdrasulov was released after he agreed not to leave the country while the investigation is underway.

The lawyer said Abdrasulov was summoned to police on September 21 and interrogated in the presence of the alleged victim, who withdrew the accusation against him.

Abdrasulova said she plans to ask the Bishkek city prosecutor's office to investigate her son's detention.

Kyrgyz Ombudsman Tursunbek Akun said some parliament deputies are behind the incident.

Read more in Kyrgyz here