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Kyrgyzstan Review, 10 years ago

[23.04.23] Kyrgyz Ombudsman Thinks Hizb Ut-Tahrir Does Not Want to Be Legalized

Kyrgyz Ombudsman Tursunbai Bakir-uulu believes the banned Islamic extremist movement Hizb ut-Tahrir is not interested in being legalized in Kyrgyzstan, Interfax reported on 23 April. International organizations have appealed to the Kyrgyz authorities officially to recognize the movement and stop persecuting Hizb ut-Tahrir adherents. Bakir-uulu has questioned whether the group should be banned just because it wants to change the constitutional system. He pointed out that the Communist Party, which enjoys full legality, has the same aim. Bakir-uulu noted that if Hizb ut-Tahrir were legalized in Kyrgyzstan, its funding would dry up. In order to be legalized, it would have to change its political goals and accept official registration. Kyrgyz law enforcement agencies estimate that there are more than 4,000 Hizb ut-Tahrir adherents in Kyrgyzstan. Both the government and the opposition agree that the movement's influence has been growing in the last two years. The authorities are stepping up their efforts to counter Hizb ut-Tahrir influence through both repression and "prophylactic work."
Eurasianet, Interfax 23, 2003

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