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Kyrgyz Police Detain Opposition Politicians

Demonstrators threw rocks and bottles at the government building on April 19 (ITAR-TASS) BISHKEK, April 23, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Kyrgyz opposition leader and former Prime Minister Feliks Kulov said police detained two of his close aides today, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reported.

Speaking at a press conference in his home village of Baitik near Bishkek, Kulov urged the authorities to release Omurbek Subanaliev and Omurbek Abdrakhmanov.

"The authorities should slow down already and stop taking silly actions on this wave of euphoria," he said. "They should release Subanaliev and Abdrakhmanov and other people immediately, and they should take a normal, civilized path. This criminal case against the organizers and active participants of the rally has no legal prospects."

Kulov is the leader of the opposition United Front for a Worthy Future for Kyrgyzstan.

Meanwhile, opposition lawmaker Temir Sariev met with Prime Minister Almaz Atambaev today and urged him not to persecute opposition supporters.

The move comes a day after Atambaev vowed to bring to justice opposition protesters who clashed with police in Bishkek last week.

Late on April 19, police fired tear gas at demonstrators who were throwing rocks and bottles at the government building. The protests were called to demand constitutional reforms and the resignation of President Kumanbek Bakiev.

(with material from AFP, Reuters)

Turmoil In Kyrgyzstan

Turmoil In Kyrgyzstan

Opposition protests in Bishkek on April 11 (TASS)

TAKING TO THE STREETS. Edil Baisalov, president of the largest grassroots network in Kyrgyzstan, discussed the political turmoil in Kyrgyzstan at an RFE/RL briefing in Washington. He addressed the question of whether the unrest is a healthy democratic process or a bid to derail the country's fragile democratic transition.


Listen to the entire briefing (about 70 minutes):
Real Audio Windows Media


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RFE/RL's coverage of Kyrgyzstan. The Kyrgyz-language website of RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service.


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