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Kyrgyzstan: Violence Reported At Demonstration

Bishkek, 7 July 1997 (RFE/RL) - Kyrgyz police beat several protesters today at a demonstration in front of the country's government building in the capital of Bishkek.

RFE/RL correspondents at the scene reported that about 400 people took part in the demonstration. They demanded the release of the Yntymak movement's leader, Nurlan Alymkulov. The Yntymak movement represents the interests of young, homeless and unemployed people living in Bishkek. Alymkulov and four other people were taken into custody by Kyrgyz authorities last Saturday.

A crowd of demonstrators gathered today when Kyrgyz police attempted to detain Tursunbek Akunov, the chairman of the Human Rights Movement in Kyrgyzstan, and Sagynbek Mombekov, a popular Kyrgyz singer. Police physically cleared the area, and fighting broke out between police and demonstrators. Ten people were arrested and one woman was taken to the hospital. Today's demonstration is the fourth involving members of Yntymak in a little more than a month.