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Kyrgyzstan: Several Thousand Protest In Djalalabad Oblast

Kerben, Kyrgyzstan; 7 May 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Human rights activists say 6,500 people gathered in Kyrgyzstan's Aksy Raion to demand that the government resign and prosecutors drop the case against parliamentarian Azimbek Beknazarov. Kubanych Mamatkerimov of the Kyrgyz Committee for Human Rights in Aksy told RFE/RL that the picketers are demanding that President Askar Akaev resign and be impeached. The protesters also demand punishment for those responsible for the killings of five people during demonstrations in March demanding Beknazarov's release from jail.

Mamatkerimov said some residents have stopped sending their children to school in protest, and plan to stop sending their sons to serve in the army.

Beknazarov was arrested in January and charged with abuse of power, but he was released after the demonstrations in March. His supporters say the case against him is politically motivated.