Page last updated at 09:39 GMT, Friday, 7 May 2010 10:39 UK

Briton Vugar Khalilov 'denied treatment' in Kyrgyzstan

Vugar Khalilov
Vugar Khalilov's supporters say he is being denied medical treatment

The family of a former BBC journalist who was arrested and detained in Kyrgyzstan last month, say they fear he urgently needs medical treatment.

British businessman Vugar Khalilov has been accused of the "legalisation of illegal funds" - something he denies.

His brother Azer said Mr Khalilov has a spinal hernia which could leave him paralysed unless it is treated.

Security services chief Keneshbek Duishebayev said Kyrgyz law was being followed, the AFP news agency reported.

'Solitary confinement'

Mr Khalilov is a public relations executive who once worked for ousted Kyrgyzstan president Kurmanbek Bakiyev.

The new government has been accused of ignoring Mr Khalilov's human rights and keeping him in "solitary confinement" since his arrest on 12 April.

Mr Khalilov's supporters have said the charges are politically motivated and that he has had limited access to his lawyer.

He moved from London to Kyrgyzstan, where he was the head of public relations company Flexi Communications.

The 41-year-old was held by members of the national security service shortly after meeting David Moran, the UK ambassador to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

Mr Khalilov is expected to be held for a two-month period while prosecutors investigate the case.

Deposed president Kurmanbek Bakiyev
Kurmanbek Bakiyev maintains he is still leader of Kyrgyzstan

Supporters have set up a site on the social networking site Facebook.

Mr Khalilov's brother said he had been told by those who had seen him that Mr Khalilov needed to see a professional medical expert about his worsening spinal hernia.

"The lawyer, Artyom Ivanov, said that [my brother] may face very serious health consequences like paralysis if he is not provided with urgent professional medical care and physiotherapeutic treatment - which is impossible to get with him having been imprisoned," he said.

The Foreign Office has said it was aware of the arrest and would monitor the case.

Overthrown

The charges are believed to relate to a loan that Mr Khalilov took out to start his public relations company.

Mr Bakiyev was overthrown in mass protests on 7 April. More than 80 people were killed when anti-government protests in Bishkek, and other towns turned violent.

Kyrgyzstan's interim leaders said Mr Bakiyev's administration ordered troops to open fire on protesters.

They have said he should stand trial over the unrest in which 85 people died, and during his absence have charged him with organising mass killings.

Mr Bakiyev maintains he is still president.



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