Kyrgyzstan: Islamist couple jailed for not allowing children to attend school

BISHKEK (TCA) — A Kyrgyz court has handed down prison terms to a couple convicted of preventing its children to attend school, RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service reports.

The Issyk-Kul district court in northern Kyrgyzstan said on April 5 that the man and the woman were found guilty of not carrying out their parental duties to provide their children with education.

They were sentenced to two years in prison each on April 2.

The two are members of the banned Yaqyn Inkar Islamic group.

Their identities were not disclosed.

The man was taken to custody after the sentence was pronounced while his wife’s sentence was postponed until their youngest child is 14.

Yaqyn Inkar was founded in India. Authorities in Kyrgyzstan, a mostly Muslim country whose secular government is wary of people whose religious beliefs or practices fall outside the mainstream, deemed it an extremist organization and banned it in June last year.

Members of Yaqyn Inkar try to live as people did when the Prophet Muhammad was alive, in the seventh century. They do not use modern technical devices, refuse medical and social services and secular education, travel on foot, and wear only traditional white clothes.

In 2016, before the group was banned, Kyrgyz officials expressed concerns about the religious movement, saying it was propagating its ideas without obtaining legal permission.

Sergey Kwan


Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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