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Journalist Ulugbek Babakulov gets political asylum

Journalist Ulugbek Babakulov was granted political asylum in France. He informed 24.kg news agency.

According to him, he can not return to his homeland yet. «I am forced at a whim of the former Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev to stay outside the country now. The French authorities gave me and my family the opportunity to settle here,» said Ulugbek Babakulov.

The State Committee for National Security initiated a criminal case against the journalist under the Article 299 (incitement of national (interethnic), racial, religious or inter-regional hatred) of the Criminal Code of the Kyrgyz Republic in July 2017. According to the investigation, Ulugbek Babakulov published a number of provocative articles aimed at stirring up ethnic hatred and enmity, creating preconditions for exacerbation of interethnic relations on the website of the international news agency Fergana.ru and other resources.

In one of his latest publications, Ulugbek Babakulov drew attention to the inaction of the Kyrgyz special services against those, who were calling for the massacre of the representatives of Uzbek nationality, calling them «sarts,» on the social networking sites.

Deputies of the Parliament Ainura Altybaeva and Muradyl Madaminov demanded to deprive Ulugbek Babakulov of the Kyrgyz citizenship. Ulugbek Babakulov repeatedly stated that his house was being watched by unknown people, but no one paid attention to his signals.

The journalist left Kyrgyzstan in 2017 and lived in one of the CIS countries.