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U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesman
Press Statement


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Press Statement by James P. Rubin, Spokesman
April 5, 2000

Kyrgyzstan: Arrest Of Daniyar Usenov

The United States strongly condemns the detention April 5 in Bishkek of Daniyar Usenov, a leader of the People's Party of Kyrgyzstan. Mr. Usenov was on trial in the Leninskiy regional court in Bishkek on four-year-old assault charges, which the Government of Kyrgyzstan chose to prosecute even though the original plaintiff had withdrawn the charges long ago. We understand that the judge in the case changed the terms of Mr. Usenov's conditional release and ordered him jailed. He was taken from the courtroom to the detention facility.

We call upon the Government of Kyrgyzstan to release Mr. Usenov immediately. We find this decision to jail Mr. Usenov incomprehensible given his recent public assurances that he would not attempt to leave Bishkek or in any other way violate the terms of his conditional release.

We also call on the Government of Kyrgyzstan to release Ar Namys party leader Feliks Kulov pending investigation of his case and further steps. We understand that Kyrgyz law gives prosecutors the discretion to grant provisional release during the investigation.

The arrest and detention of these two prominent members of the political opposition calls into serious question Kyrgyzstan's commitment to uphold OSCE norms and principles.

[end of document]

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