Bishkek, April 3 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Police in Kyrgyzstan have detained the editor-in-chief of the country’s largest Uzbek-language newspaper on suspicion of his involvement in deadly ethnic clashes in the country in 2010 that killed about 500 people.
Following the 2010 coup and toppling of president Kurmanbek Bakiyev, southern Kyrgyz regions became the scene of deadly inter-ethnic clashes between Kyrgyz people and the country’s Uzbek minority.
The violence left about 500 people dead, injured thousands and forced about 500,000 people from their homes.
A state commission to investigate the causes ruled that the ethnic conflict was triggered, among other things, by statements and speeches made by certain leaders from the Uzbek diaspora.
Makhamadsoli Ismailov, editor-in-chief of the Ush Sadosi (Echo of Osh) Uzbek-language newspaper printed in the Kyrgyz city of Osh, was detained on suspicion of abducting a person during the violence outbreak.
“Ten people are listed as suspects in the case. Three of them, including Ismailov, have already been detained, while seven have been put on a wanted list,” an interior ministry spokesman said.
A court in Kyrgyzstan earlier sentenced a prominent ethnic Uzbek human rights activist, Azimzhan Askarov, to life in prison for instigating inter-ethnic violence and killing a police officer.