Noted Kyrgyz Investigative Journalist Questioned In Unspecified Case

BISHKEK -- A noted investigative journalist in Kyrgyzstan was briefly detained for questioning in an unspecified case amid concerns by rights activists.

Semetei Talas Uulu's wife, Aiym Usupbaeva, told RFE/RL on February 18 that officers from the State Committee for National Security (UKMK) searched their home, confiscated belongings and books related to religion, and took her husband away.

Talas Uulu's supporters and rights activists planned to hold a rally in central Bishkek, but the 41-year-old journalist was released from the UKMK a short while afterward, telling reporters that he was questioned in a criminal case.

"Investigations are going on in a criminal case. I was asked not to reveal any other details," Talas Uulu said.

The UKMK said in a statement that Talas Uulu was questioned as a witness in a case involving the distribution of extremist materials. No more details were given.

Talas Uulu has been known for his online investigative articles revealing corruption among top officials in the Central Asian nation.