Investigations Launched Into Kyrgyz Youths Bullying Foreign Students

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Kyrgyzstan's Interior Ministry is probing alleged bullying of foreign students by local Kyrgyz youths at a university in the central city of Naryn.

In a June 9 statement, the ministry said it opened an investigation into "hooliganism" allegations as well as an internal inquiry into the behavior of local police in Naryn.

Kyrgyz Prime Minister Sooronbai Jeenbekov has ordered local authorities in Naryn to thoroughly investigate the bullying incident, which reportedly happened on June 8.

Kyrgyz media reports say a group of Kyrgyz youths from Naryn entered the campus of the University of Central Asia (UCA) and forced at least one student or teacher to kneel and apologize for a brawl between Tajik students and local youths that had allegedly occurred at a basketball game last month.

The UCA was founded in 2000 as a private institution under the patronage of the Aga Khan and the presidents of Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan. It is secular and nonprofit. Besides its Kyrgyz branch in Naryn, the UCA has campuses in Kazakhstan and Tajikistan.

Youths from Tajikistan and Kazakhstan study at the UCA in Naryn alongside Kyrgyz students.

After the authorities opened the investigation on June 9, a group of local youths accompanied by regional Governor Amanbai Kaiypov came to the campus again to apologize for their intrusion the previous day, UCA teachers told reporters.

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