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Kyrgyzstan: Demonstrators Protest Journalists' Imprisonment

Bishkek, 3 June 1997 (RFE/RL) - There was a small demonstration in front of the Kyrgyz government building in Bishek today.

About 300 people rallied to protest a May 23 court decision to imprison two journalists from the Kyrgyz independent weekly newspaper "Res Publica" for 18 months and ban two others from writing for the same period.

Demonstrators requested a meeting with government officials but no one from the government came out to meet with protestors. Three of the demonstrators said they were starting a protest fast in support of the journalists.

Amnesty International and other human rights organizations have sent letters to Kyrgyzstan's President Askar Akayev, asking that he intervene but to date there has been no response from Akayev.