Sat, 20 Oct 2018

BISHKEK -- Kyrgyzstan's Supreme Court has upheld pretrial detention for Kazakh opposition activist Muratbek Tunghyshbaev.

Kyrgyz civil right activist Adil Turdukulov told RFE/RL that the court issued the ruling on June 13.

Tunghyshbaev was arrested in Bishkek in May at the request of authorities in Kazakhstan who claim that the activist financially supported and took part in the activities of an extremist group.

Tunghyshbaev denies the accusations, saying that Kazakh authorities are targeting him over videos he posted on YouTube about problems faced by activists and supporters of the opposition Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan (DVK) movement.

The DVK was established by Mukhtar Ablyazov, a fugitive critic of President Nursultan Nazarbaev.

A court in Kazakhstan banned the movement in March, branding it an extremist organization.

The Kyrgyz Prosecutor-General's Office said on May 24 that Tunghyshbaev must be extradited to Kazakhstan, and a Bishkek court is scheduled to hold a hearing on that decision on June 19.

Kyrgyzstan's migration service said on June 5 that Tunghyshbaev had officially asked for political asylum in Kyrgyzstan.

Kyrgyz Ombudsman Kubat Otorbaev and rights groups have urged Kyrgyz authorities not to extradite Tunghyshbaev, saying he may face political persecution in Kazakhstan.

RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service

RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service is one of the most trusted sources of news and information in Kyrgyzstan, especially at times of political turmoil. Azattyk's reports are regularly cited and reprinted by local and regional media. Subscribe via RSS

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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