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Kyrgyz Lawmakers Call For Probe Into Violent Protest Over Gold Mining

BISHKEK – A group of Kyrgyz lawmakers has called for a thorough investigation into a violent protest that has hit a southern district over plans to build a new mining facility.

Lawmakers Aitmamat Nazarov, Dastan Jumabekov, and Irina Karamushkina on April 12 accused local officials and law enforcement authorities of failing to prevent a conflict that had been brewing for some time around gold mines in the Jalal-Abad region.

On April 10, thousands of residents of Toguz-Torou district set several buildings of the Kyrgyz-Chinese joint venture Makmal GL Developing ablaze and threw stones at police officers when they arrived to the site.

The rioters were protesting against plans to build a new gold processing facility near the town of Kazarman.

Prime Minister Sapar Isakov on April 12 sacked the district governor for failing to prevent the riot.

Law enforcement officials told RFE/RL that the situation in Kazarman was back under control after additional police forces deployed to the district from Bishkek.