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Kyrgyzstan: Protesters End Fast

Prague, 6 June 1997 (RFE/RL) - The chairman of the Human Rights Movement of Kyrgyzstan says a protest fast by up to eight people on Bishkek's central square ended last night.

Tursunbek Akunov told RFE/RL by phone today that the fast ended after 15 representatives of some 500 protesters held three hours of talks with Kyrgyz Prime Minister Apas Joumagulov.

The protesters had made four demands, including the release of arrested journalists, an investigation into the police beating of fasters on Tuesday, the resignation of the mayor of Bishkek, and a resolution of the problems of homeless youth in the city.

Joumagulov says the government will fulfill the protesters' demand on homelessness in the near future. But he says their political demands should be discussed with President Askar Akayev, who is due to return today from a visit to South Korea.

Akunov says the protesters are planning a new demonstration in Bishkek for next Tuesday, when the municipal court is due to consider the cases of four jailed journalists from the opposition Res Publica weekly. They are accused of libeling and insulting directors of state enterprises.