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Ten Charged In Kyrgyz Mine Protest

  • RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service

A scene from Karakol this week, when protesters allegedly tried to take a government official hostage.

A scene from Karakol this week, when protesters allegedly tried to take a government official hostage.

BISHKEK -- Ten suspects have been charged in connection with violent protests in Kyrgyzstan's northern Issyk-Kul Province earlier this week and ordered to undergo two months of pretrial detention.

Kyrgyzstan's State Committee for National Security (UKMK) said on October 11 that the 10 suspects have been charged with hostage-taking, hooliganism, assaulting authorities, and making death threats.

Hundreds protested in Issyk-Kul's provincial capital, Karakol, earlier this week to demand the nationalization of the country’s largest gold mine, Kumtor. The protesters briefly took a government envoy hostage and threatened to burn him alive if their demands were not met.

Police dispersed the protesters. The following day, police also dispersed hundreds of protesters who were blocking a highway in the province.

The Kyrgyz parliament is currently discussing a new, more lucrative deal with the mine's operator, Canada's Centerra Gold.
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