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Uzbekistan Sentences Kyrgyz To 10 Years On Spy Conviction

BATKEN, Kyrgyzstan -- A Kyrgyz national has been sentenced to 10 years in prison in Uzbekistan after being convicted of spying.

The governor of Kadamjai District in southern Kyrgyzstan's Batken province, Akramjan Madumarov, told RFE/RL on December 1 that a local resident, Kubanychbek Eraliev, had been sentenced in Uzbekistan's Ferghana region in recent days.

Madumarov said district authorities have urged Kyrgyzstan's Foreign Ministry to take action on Eraliev's behalf.

He said Eraliev had pleaded not guilty, but that neither Kyrgyz officials nor his relatives were present at his trial.

Eraliev, 41, was arrested by Uzbek border guards in May and charged with illegal border crossing and espionage.

Batken province is in the Ferghana valley, which Kyrgyzstan shares with Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

Ties are tense and many segments of the border between the three Central Asian states in the area remain disputed.