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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Uzbek Activist's Spouse Dies

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan -- The husband of prominent Uzbek opposition activist Nigara Khidoyatova has died from gunshot wounds he received in an attack linked to her political activities, Khidoyatova said Monday.

Khidoyatova, the coordinator of the Sunshine Uzbekistan opposition group, said her Turkish-born husband, Arifjan Aidin, died in southern Kazakhstan on Thursday, nine days after being attacked by two unidentified gunmen.

"I absolutely insist he was killed because of my involvement in politics," Khidoyatova said.

An ethnic Uzbek whose father fought against communism in Central Asia in the 1930s and was forced to flee to Afghanistan and then Turkey, Aidin arrived in Uzbekistan in 1989 to open a joint-venture business.

He was deported to neighboring Kazakhstan in May for involvement in his wife's political activities and was wounded in the head in the attack on Nov. 30, Khidoyatova said.

Khidoyatova on Monday also called for forging a confederation of Russia, Uzbekistan and other Central Asian nations.

"The confederation should be based on economic and environmental issues," she said.