Kazakhstan demands Uzbekistan explain reasons why Kazakhstan tourists are under custody since July 14

29 июля 2011, 00:38
Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry. ©Vladimir Dmitriyev
Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry. ©Vladimir Dmitriyev
Kazakhstan sent a note to the Foreign Ministry of neighboring Uzbekistan requesting to explain why a group of Kazakhstan’s tourists deemed missing had been detained for a few days by the Uzbek authorities, Novosti Kazakhstan reports, citing the Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Ilyas Omarov.

July 14 at 14:30 a group of Kazakhstan’s tourists comprising 9 teens and 3 adults were taken under custody by the Uzbek border control officers nearby Ugam mountain range in Uzbekistan. The tourists might have wandered off the trail and stepped on the Uzbek soil. The group failed to get back home by July 20 as was originally planned. July 25 the Uzbek officials denied detaining any Kazakh tourists. However, later the Kazakh side learnt that the group had been taken into custody July 14.

The teens have been placed in a detention facility for minors. The adults are charged with illegally crossing the border and bringing in firearms: one of the tourists allegedly had a smoothbore rifle with cartridges for self-defense. Investigation is under way. The Uzbek authorities refuse to let the teens go until the parents pay a penalty of $550.

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