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Kyrgyz Deputy Urged To Step Down For 'Insulting' National Hero

BISHKEK -- Dozens of activists have protested in Bishkek to demand that a parliamentary deputy step down for allegedly insulting a legendary Kyrgyz hero, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

The activists, calling themselves Defenders of Manas, are angry at Omurbek Abdrakhmanov, who was quoted by Kyrgyz media as having compared Manas last week to modern gangsters.

Manas is the hero of an epic poem who is believed to have fought to protect the Kyrgyz people from external enemies.

One of the activists, Rysbai Isakov, told RFE/RL that the protesters are demanding the passage of a special law to protect the names and honor of Manas, Kurmanjan-Datka, Iskhak Razzakov, and other historical figures.

Abdrakhmanov told RFE/RL today that the reports citing him as insulting Manas were untrue and were an attempt by his political opponents to damage his reputation.

Read more in Kyrgyz here