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Protesters Force Way Into Kyrgyz Presidential Compound


http://gdb.rferl.org/ba88733c-f06f-4a23-8f26-8240e6b5daf6_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/ba88733c-f06f-4a23-8f26-8240e6b5daf6_mw800_mh600.jpg (RFE/RL) BISHKEK, June 2, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- A small crowd of people demanding a meeting with Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev broke through security lines today to enter the compound that houses the presidential and government headquarters in the capital, Bishkek.

The group -- of about 30 protesters -- claims to be from the southern Kyrgyz town of Aksy, where six people died in March 2002 after police opened fire on demonstrators.

Toleikan Ismailova, who heads the nongovernmental group Civil Society Against Corruption, told RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service that the protest broke out after the Supreme Court today upheld an earlier decision to acquit six policemen suspected of involvement in the Aksy shootings.

“When Bakiev acceded power [in 2005], he promised his first task would be to sort out [the] Aksy [events]," Ismailova said. "But up until today there has been no justice. The Supreme Court made the wrong decision, and now the security officers and soldiers who guard the White House [that houses the presidential and government offices] are [trying to] kick these people out.”

There has been no official announcement concerning today’s court ruling.

Prosecutor-General Kambaraly Kongantiev said earlier this week that he had asked the Supreme Court to reexamine the 2002 events and rule whether to uphold its acquittal decision or send back the case for further investigation.

Bakiev was prime minister at the time of the Aksy shooting.

An opposition rally attended by some 10,000 people in Bishkek on May 27 gave President Bakiev and Prime Minister Feliks Kulov until September to implement a 10-point reform program that included the punishment of those responsible for the Aksy shootings.
RFE/RL Central Asia Report


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