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Kyrgyzstan denies entry to Norwegian activist

Kyrgyzstan's border guards have barred Ivar Dale, an activist with the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, from entering the Central Asian country.

world Updated: Oct 14, 2008 21:49 IST

Kyrgyzstan's border guards have barred a Norwegian human rights activist from entering the Central Asian country, the authorities said on Tuesday.

Ivar Dale, an activist with the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, had been due to travel to the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek to open a local office in the former Soviet nation.

"He was denied entry," a spokeswoman for the Kyrgyz border guards said without giving further details.

Dale and his Oslo office could not be reached for comment.

The opposition and Kyrgyz rights activists have accused Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev of tightening his grip on power and putting pressure on his critics and independent media.

Dale's local lawyer, Shamaral Maichiyev, said Dale would challenge the decision. "We are trying to find out who issued this order and then we should challenge it," he told Reuters.

Kyrgyz police had previously accused Dale of breaching laws regulating foreigners' activities in Kyrgyzstan, but a local court dismissed the charges. Dale's colleagues have said that police raided his office to search documents in June.