Kyrgyz Activists Acquitted in Protest Against Uzbekistan Border Deal

Activists Acquitted in Kyrgyzstan Border Protest Trial

A group of activists in Kyrgyzstan have been acquitted by a court in Bishkek after facing 20 years in prison for protesting a border deal with Uzbekistan. The judge ruled on June 14 that there was not enough evidence to convict the 27 activists, much to the relief of their supporters.

Prosecutors had sought lengthy sentences for each member of the group for their participation in protests against the agreement that saw Kyrgyzstan handing over the Kempir-Abad reservoir to Uzbekistan. This decision sparked outrage among international rights groups, who demanded the immediate release of the protesters.

The request for lengthy sentences was criticized as a “shocking miscarriage of justice” by human rights advocates. The activists had been peacefully expressing their opposition to the border deal, and many saw the legal action against them as a violation of their right to freedom of speech and assembly.

The acquittal of the activists comes as a victory for civil society in Kyrgyzstan, where dissent is increasingly facing scrutiny and repression. The decision underscores the importance of upholding the right to peaceful protest and standing up against injustice.

For more information on this story, visit RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service.



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