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Saturday, August 27, 2005

 

Uzbek spies look for refugees in Kyrgyzstan

From Radio Free Europe:

Alisher Saipov is an independent journalist from the southern Kyrgyz city of Osh.

In July, he interviewed Qobiljon Parpiev, the alleged ringleader of the Andijon protests and a wanted man in Uzbekistan, where authorities have accused him of terrorist activities.

Soon afterward, Saipov says, he received a curious proposal.

“A local human rights activist, the head of the Law and Order human rights group, told me that an Uzbek security service officer wanted to talk to me about a very special offer," Saipov relates. "I said: ‘OK, tell him I can meet with him.' The man came. I was there with my friend. We talked. He said: ‘You know where Qobiljon Parpiev is. You’ve contacted him. If we catch him with your help, you’ll receive the 10,000-[dollar] reward promised for his capture.'"

Saipov says the man introduced himself by name and said he was an officer of the economic department of the Andijon regional branch of the Uzbek National Security Service (SNB).

Saipov says the SNB has intensified its activity in southern Kyrgyzstan since hundreds of Uzbeks flowed into the country seeking refuge following the Andijon violence.

Most of the Uzbek refugees were relocated to Romania in late July. But dozens more Uzbeks are believed to still be in hiding in the south of Kyrgyzstan. Some Kyrgyz citizens say Uzbek SNB officers have contacted them and asked for help in tracking down the refugees.

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