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In Southern Kyrgyzstan, “SOS” Leads to Jail Time

A call for help or a punishable offense?

A court in southern Kyrgyzstan has sentenced two ethnic Uzbeks to three years in prison for writing “SOS” on the gate of a private home during June’s deadly clashes between the region’s Uzbeks and Kyrgyz, AKIpress reported Friday. The Kara-Suu District Court ruled that Uktomjan Ahmatjanov and Islamjan Husanov had incited interethnic conflict by spreading rumors that troops from neighboring Uzbekistan would come to the aid of local Uzbeks and by painting the SOS sign to help these forces – actions the court deemed to have turned Uzbeks against Kyrgyz. The men were accused of committing their crime on June 12, when many Uzbek neighborhoods had already barricaded themselves against armed mobs.

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In Southern Kyrgyzstan, “SOS” Leads to Jail Time

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