KYRGYZSTAN. TWO SENTENCED TO DEATH
July 17, 2006: two Kyrgyz men charged with killing a parliamentarian have been sentenced to death, the general prosecutor's office said.
But the penalty will not be implemented because Kyrgyzstan has a moratorium on executions, officials said. Instead, Makhmudzhan Ruzimetov and Sabyrkul Batyrov will be put on death row indefinitely.
Parliamentarian Bayaman Erkinbayev was shot in the centre of the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek last September.
"They were sentenced to death but because of the moratorium they will be put on death row," said Toktogul Kakchekeyev, a spokesman for the general prosecutor's office.
Despite the moratorium, introduced in 1998, Kyrgyz courts continue to hand down death sentences, leaving many people with indefinite stretches on death row in Soviet-era prisons where disease and drug abuse are rife.
Erkinbayev backed the opposition during the March coup, and his supporters were among crowds that seized the main government building. (Sources: Reuters, 17/07/2006)