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Protesters Demand Release Of Kyrgyz Opposition Leaders

  • RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service

Ata-Jurt party leader Kamchybek Tashiev exhorted the crowd to "take power" ahead of the violence.

Ata-Jurt party leader Kamchybek Tashiev exhorted the crowd to "take power" ahead of the violence.

BISHKEK -- Hundreds of protesters have gathered in Kyrgyzstan's southern city of Jalal-Abad to demand the immediate release of three opposition members of parliament.

Three leaders of the opposition Ata-Jurt (Homeland) party -- Kamchybek Tashiev, Sadyr Japarov, and Talant Mamytov -- were arrested for their role in violent protests on October 3 by about 1,000 demonstrators in Bishkek.

The Prosecutor-General's Office said the three were arrested and charged with "attempting to forcefully overthrow the government."

They demanded the nationalization of the largest gold-mining operation in Kyrgyzstan.

The Kumtor mine is owned by a Canadian-based company.

Tashiev joined the crowd and called on protesters to overthrow the government.

Some protesters broke into the fenced perimeter of the parliament building.

Police used tear gas, rubber bullets, and dogs to disperse demonstrators.

The protesters in Jalal-Abad on October 4 warned that their protests will continue if their demands are not met.
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