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Kyrgyz Opposition Prevented From Holding Congress

Scenes from the confrontation on May 31.
Scenes from the confrontation on May 31.
BISHKEK -- Kyrgyz opposition activists have been prevented by counterprotesters from holding a congress, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Several opposition activists planned to hold the congress in the northeastern towns of Tyup and Balykchi on May 31. But when they arrived in Tyup, they were confronted by a group of women and young men, who aggressively demanded that they leave.

The activists said the group used very strong, threatening language, while police stood nearby and did nothing.

Town officials told RFE/RL that since the activists were planning to hold an unsanctioned meeting they were asked to return to Bishkek.

The opposition planned to discuss its presidential campaign strategy at the congress. The election is scheduled for July 23 and several opposition candidates are in the running.