Wednesday, August 24, 2016


Kyrgyz Opposition Protesters Demand Gold Mine's Nationalization

Opposition supporters rally in Bishkek on April 24.
Opposition supporters rally in Bishkek on April 24.

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Kyrgyz Gold-Mine Debate Pits Poor Country Against Its Richest Taxpayer

Government officials in Kyrgyzstan are threatening to scrap an agreement with a Canadian-run gold mine they say is bilking the country out of millions in tax revenues. But with the Kumtor mine serving as one of the single-largest contributors to Kyrgyzstan's struggling economy, Bishkek must proceed cautiously -- or risk losing a vital cash cow.
By RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service
BISHKEK -- Hundreds of supporters of the opposition El Unu (People's Voice) movement have held a demonstration in Bishkek to demand the nationalization of Kyrgyzstan's Kumtor gold mine.

The demonstrators also called for the resignation of the government and the immediate release from jail of three opposition members of parliament.

Last month, leaders from the Ata-Jurt (Fatherland) party -- Kamchybek Tashiev, Sadyr Japarov, and Talant Mamytov -- were sentenced to prison terms between one year and 18 months after being convicted of an attempt to seize power.

The three lawmakers were arrested in October for their role in violent protests by about 1,000 demonstrators in Bishkek, who also demanded the nationalization of Kumtor.

About 20 women tried to force their way into the parliament building on April 24. They were stopped by security officers.

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