First the violence, now the fear. Uzbeks in southern Kyrgyzstan report that Kyrgyz authorities are rounding up Uzbek men without probable cause. Many of the arrests are taking place during the pre-dawn hours.
In some cases, Uzbeks say they are paying a ransom to secure their loved ones’ release. Several deaths in custody have been reported.
Those living in predominantly Uzbek areas of Osh, Kyrgyzstan’s southern capital, say they now dread the onset of night. “We have decided to guard our streets at night between about 23:00 and 05:00 so we can somehow try to put a live shield against the Kyrgyz military and police, who rush into our neighborhoods at night and take away our sons, husbands and brothers,” Minura, a 45-year-old Osh resident, told EurasiaNet.org. Like most sources discussing the ongoing ethnic tension in Osh, she asked her last name not be printed.
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