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Bishkek Protesters Demand Property Legalization, Utilities

A file photo taken at the Ak-Ordo settlement near Bishkek
A file photo taken at the Ak-Ordo settlement near Bishkek
BISHKEK -- Some 100 people picketed the Kyrgyz government building on September 6 to demand infrastructure for a settlement near Bishkek where they live, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

The picket by residents of Ak-Ordo settlement is the latest in a series of similar protests by inhabitants of settlements near the Kyrgyz capital.

Ak-Ordo residents protested several weeks ago demanding utilities, infrastructure, and formal registration of their property and received promises from the government and Bishkek city officials that their demands would be met.

RFE/RL's correspondent reports from the scene that the protesters say their demands have not been met and therefore they want to meet with Prime Minister Almazbek Atambaev and President Roza Otunbaeva to discuss their formal registration as residents and owners of property in the settlement.

Like residents of other similar settlements on the northern outskirts of Bishkek, Ak-Ordo's inhabitants have been living for several years in homes that they built without obtaining official permission on land that they do not own.

Inhabitants of other settlements near Bishkek -- including Muras-Ordo, Ak-Jar, and Jumgal-Ata -- have staged similar protests recently and received promises from the government that their demands will be met in the near future.

Read more in Kyrgyz here