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Group Of Kyrgyz Army 'Deserters' Turn Themselves In To Military

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

Fifteen missing Kyrgyz soldiers have turned themselves in to the Military Prosecutor's Office in Bishkek, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

The soldiers say they have been physically assaulted by officers in the unit.

Hazing has long been a serious problem in the Kyrgyz Army and has led to several conscripts being killed.

RFE/RL's correspondent reports from Bishkek that the soldiers are currently being questioned. Human rights activists are present at those sessions.

Kyrgyz Defense Ministry officials said the soldiers left military unit no. 41069 in a Bishkek garrison in the early morning on December 8.

The ministry's Discipline Control Department's chief, Ernis Elamanov, told RFE/RL that "the soldiers left the unit after the unit's leadership learned that they had beaten newly drafted conscripts." He said they deserted without taking any weapons with them.

Meanwhile, the mother of one of the soldiers, Anara Abdrakhmanova, told RFE/RL today that her son called her on December 8 and told her that "he is no longer able to stand the intimidation by his commanders and he is even ready to die" rather than continue in such a situation.

To read the full story

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

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

Group Of Kyrgyz Army 'Deserters' Turn Themselves In To Military

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