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Coordinated Protests Demand Release Of Kyrgyz Opposition Leaders

The Osh rally on March 5 in support of the accused lawmakers.
OSH, Kyrgyzstan -- Hundreds of protesters have rallied in three Kyrgyz cities to demand the immediate release of three opposition members of parliament.

The biggest protest on March 5 was held in Osh, the largest city in southern Kyrgyzstan.

A similar rally was held in another southern city, Jalal-Abad, where hundreds gathered in the city center, saying they would remain there until the three opposition leaders were freed.

In the north of the country, some 400 supporters of the opposition Homeland (Ata-Jurt) party rallied in the city of Karakol.

Ata-Jurt leaders and members of parliament Kamchybek Tashiev, Sadyr Japarov, and Talant Mamytov have been charged with provoking public unrest last year.

Authorities cited their role in violent protests in October 2012 by about 1,000 demonstrators in the capital, Bishkek.