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Kyrgyz Supreme Court Rules That Police Crackdown On Women's Rally Was Illegal

Kyrgyz police violently dispersed a rally organized for International Women's Day in Bishkek on March 8.

BISHKEK -- The Supreme Court of Kyrgyzstan has ruled that a police crackdown on a feminist group in Bishkek earlier in March was illegal.

The court's press service said on November 12 that the decision had been made a day earlier.

The decision cancels the rulings of two lower courts that found the detention of 11 feminist activists in March to be legal.

On March 8, which is marked worldwide as International Women's Day, feminist activists in Bishkek planned to hold what they called the March of Women's Solidarity in downtown Bishkek.

However, when dozens of women came to the city center, they were attacked by unknown individuals.

Instead of protecting the women, police violently dispersed them while arresting 11 activists who were later fined for holding an unsanctioned public event.

The women's lawyers told RFE/RL late on November 12 that they plan to file an appeal with the Supreme Court against the fines imposed on their clients.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have urged Kyrgyz authorities to thoroughly investigate the attack on the feminist activists and the dispersal of the gathering by police.