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Kyrgyzstan Refuses Asylum To Alleged Turkish Terrorist

July 20, 2011

BISHKEK -- Kyrgyzstan's Labor and Migration Ministry has refused to grant refugee status to a Turkish citizen wanted in Turkey for alleged involvement in terrorist activities, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Turkish journalist Ali Osman Zor, 43, was detained by Kyrgyz police on May 2. Turkish officials suspect him of involvement in a terrorist group connected with Al-Qaeda that wants to create an Islamic caliphate in the Middle East.

Bazarkul Kerimbaeva, who heads the Labor and Migration Ministry's department of refugees, told RFE/RL that the ministry rejected as without foundation the arguments put forward by Zor and his lawyers in support of his claim to refugee status.

Zor's lawyers said his case is politically motivated. Kyrgyz human rights activists have called on Kyrgyz authorities not to extradite him to Turkey.

Zor has been on a hunger strike for several weeks to protest his arrest.


Copyright (c) 2011. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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