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Kyrgyz Demonstrators Demand Fair Trial For Opposition Leaders

KARA-KULJA, Kyrgyzstan -- About 500 supporters of Kyrgyzstan's opposition Homeland (Ata-Jurt) party have demonstrated in the southern town of Kara-Kulja, demanding a fair trial for party leaders.

Kamchybek Tashiev, Sadyr Japarov, and Talant Mamytov have been charged with provoking public unrest and attempting to overthrow government.

They were arrested in October for organizing violent antigovernment protests by about 1,000 demonstrators in front of the parliament building in Bishkek.

Their trial started on January 10 but was adjourned the same day.

The judge was removed from the case due to what was described as "personal issues" between him and one of the defendants.

Tashiev pleaded not guilty before the adjournment, but the other defendants have not yet entered pleas.

The trial is scheduled to resume on January 24 in Bishkek.