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Police Briefly Detain Protesters In Bishkek

Rallies also took place in Aksy to honor the casualties of the 2002 incident.
BISHKEK (RFE/RL) -- Police in Bishkek have detained more than a dozen protesters who were in front of the Kyrgyz government building to mark the anniversary of fatal police shootings seven years ago, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

It was the second day of the demonstration to commemorate the six people who died and dozens who were injured in Aksy, and others continued their rally in front of the government offices.

The detainees were later given a warning and released several hours later.

The chairwoman of Kylym Shamy (Torch of the Century) human rights center in Bishkek, Aziza Abdrasulova, told RFE/RL that prominent rights activists Tolekan Ismailova and Topchubek Turgunaliev are among the detainees.

President Kurmanbek Bakiev issued a statement that described the Aksy victims as "fighters for freedom," but critics have accused authorities of failing to prosecute officials responsible for the police order to fire on the crowd on March 17, 2002.

The 2002 protesters were angry over a government decision to surrender disputed territory to neighboring China.