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Kyrgyz Ex-MP's Supporters Unblock Highway


Supporters of Akmatbek Keldibekov blocking the highway to China in Osh on November 25.

Supporters of Akmatbek Keldibekov blocking the highway to China in Osh on November 25.

OSH, Kyrgyzstan -- Supporters of arrested former parliament speaker Akmatbek Keldibekov removed their cars from a major highway in Kyrgyzstan's southern region of Osh overnight after blocking it for 24 hours.

The hundreds of vehicles had kept the Osh-Erkechtam highway connecting Kyrgyzstan with China closed since November 24.

The opposition Fatherland (Ata-Jurt) party's spokeswoman told journalists in Osh on November 26 that Keldibekov’s supporters plan other protests and will urge President Almazbek Atambaev to free him.

Keldibekov, an Ata-Jurt member, served as parliament speaker between 2010 and 2011.

He was arrested last week amid an investigation into alleged abuse of office and financial misdeeds while running the State Social Fund and Tax Service several years ago.

The leader of Ata-Jurt, Kamchybek Tashiev, described Keldibekov’s arrest as "political oppression."
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