Kyrgyzstan Sets Date For Retrial Of Ethnic Uzbek Activist

By RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service

BISHKEK -- Kyrgyzstan is to start the retrial of ethnic Uzbek activist Azimjon Askarov next month.

Supreme Court officials told RFE/RL on September 9 that the date for the retrial had been set for October 4.

Askarov has been serving a life sentence after being convicted in 2011 of stirring up ethnic hatred during 2010 deadly clashes between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks and of complicity in the death of a policeman during the violence.

In July, the Supreme Court revoked Askarov's life sentence and sent the case back to a lower court for review in light of "new circumstances that appeared in the case."

The United Nations has urged Kyrgyzstan to release Askarov, who says the case against him was politically motivated.

More than 450 people were killed -- most of them ethnic Uzbeks -- and tens of thousands of people fled their homes in the 2010 ethnic violence in southern Kyrgyzstan.