Accessibility links

Breaking News

Kyrgyzstan: Ethnic Uighurs Demonstrate In Bishkek

Prague, 17 February 1997 (RFE/RL) - About 300 people demonstrated outside the Chinese embassy in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek today.

They were protesting Beijing's policy of assimilation of ethnic Uighurs in the Xinjian province of China. In a letter handed to embassy officials, the protesters also demanded fair treatment for ethnic Uighurs who demonstrated in the Xinjian town of Yining last week.

Yesterday, hundreds of ethnic Uighurs staged an anti-Chinese demonstration in Istanbul.

Another demonstration with an estimated 40 participants took place in front of the government building in Bishkek this morning. These protesters demanded that the verdict against opposition leader Topchubek TurgunAliyev be overturned.

Turgunaliev, chairman of the opposition Erkin Kyrgyzstan party, was accused of embezzlement and sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment by Bishkek's municipal court last month.

Our correspondent reports that at least two people were detained during this peaceful demonstration, including the chairman of the Human Rights Movement of Kyrgyzstan, Tursunbek Akunov.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to consider the Turgunaliev's case tomorrow.