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Kyrgyz journalist prosecuted for inciting inter-religious strife

The trial of journalist Zulpukar Sapanov began.

Earlier, the Prosecutor General’s Office opened a criminal case, accusing him of inciting inter-religious strife. The investigation was carried out by the State Committee for National Security. The Pervomaisky District Court considers the case.

Zulpukar Sapanov wrote the book «Kyrgyz are not Muslims». In it, the journalist analyzed ethnic past of the Kyrgyz people. He also studied the Koran, the Bible, the Torah and other sacred books and asked in the book whether the clergy are imposing a belief in Allah on the common people. However, the author’s opinion about the pagan past of the people and doubts about faith caused resentment among religious clergymen and believers.

They wrote a statement to the law enforcement agencies, after which the Prosecutor General’s Office initiated the criminal prosecution of the author of the book.

Zulpukar Sapanov himself today in court as a justification for his position, described in the book, recalled the speech of the country’s President Almazbek Atambayev in 2014. «Instead of putting on national clothes, our women wear closed, Arab things — veil, hijab and so on. We must preserve our traditions, our culture. Anyone who loses his traditions and language, loses his state," the defendant quoted the head of state.

Marat Sydykov is presiding judge.

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