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Bishkek Protesters Block Central Street, Demand Utilities

The residents of several unofficial settlements around Bishkek have been protesting in recent weeks to demand utilities and infrastructure.
BISHKEK -- Some 50 inhabitants of a settlement near Bishkek have blocked a central street in the Kyrgyz capital, in the latest such protest demanding utilities for settlements on the fringes of the city, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

On September 8, the residents of the Rukhiy Muras settlement blocked Gorky Street for several hours demanding drinking water, infrastructure, and a kindergarten in their neighborhood,

Like residents of other similar settlements on the northern outskirts of Bishkek, Rukhiy Muras's 800 families built their homes in 2005 without obtaining official permission on land that they do not own. The settlement comprises some 90 hectares of land.

On September 6, some 100 people from a similar settlement in Bishkek's north -- Ak-Ordo -- picketed the Kyrgyz government building, also demanding utilities, infrastructure, and the formal registration of their property.

Some 50 settlements have sprung up around Bishkek in the recent years without any legal permission.

In the last several weeks, inhabitants of several such settlements have staged protests and received promises from the government that their demands will be met in the near future.

Read more in Kyrgyz here