Bishkek, 20 June 2002 (RFE/RL) -- About 500 of the several thousand demonstrators in the southern Kyrgyz city of Djalalabad started a march further south today to the country's second biggest city, Osh, where they plan to hold a rally this weekend. The demonstrators were in Djalalabad to show support for parliament deputy Azimbek Beknazarov, who was found guilty of abuse of office last month and given a one-year suspended sentence.Beknazarov is appealing the decision.
The appeal's trial is due to start on 24 June. The appeal's trial had been scheduled to start earlier this week in Djalalabad. But the Djalalabad regional court rescheduled the trial for the town of Toktogul on 24 June the same day between 7,000 to 8,000 demonstrators arrived in Djalalabad.
The demonstration in Osh has not been sanctioned by local authorities and is due to be held the same weekend representatives of the Uzbek diaspora in Kyrgyzstan plan to hold a rally calling for more government posts.