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Kyrgyz Activists Demand Ousted President, Relatives Be Punished

Former President Kurmanbek Bakiev ais now in Belarus.
Former President Kurmanbek Bakiev ais now in Belarus.
BISHKEK -- About 50 Kyrgyz activists picketed parliament to demand that former President Kurmanbek Bakiev and members of his family be prosecuted, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Arstanbek Sagyndykov is the head of the nongovernmental organization Fatherland's Victims, which organized the protest. He demanded that Bakiev, his brothers Janysh and Akhmat, and sons Maksim and Marat face justice in Kyrgyz courts.

Protesters also called for the people who died during the antigovernment demonstrations in the cities of Talas and Bishkek on April 6-7 be granted the distinguished "Hero of the Nation" honor.

The deadly clashes between protesters and security forces in April left 86 people dead and hundreds wounded.

They also forced Bakiev to flee Bishkek. He eventually settled in Belarus, where he currently lives at the invitation of Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

The Kyrgyz government that replaced Bakiev accuses him and government officials of having given the command for security forces to fire upon demonstrators. It has asked Belarus to extradite Bakiev, but Minsk has refused.

Bakiev's son, Maksim, has been charged in absentia with embezzlement. He currently lives in Great Britain where he is seeking political asylum.

The whereabouts of Marat, Akhmat, and Janysh -- who are also wanted by Kyrgyzstan's interim government for alleged corruption, embezzlement, and involvement in other unlawful activities -- are unknown.