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Kyrgyz Protesters Demand Resignation After Violent Drug Bust

Relatives of people detained in a violent drug bust last fall in southern Kyrgyzstan picketed the office of the district governor today to demand his resignation, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Dozens of protesters, calling themselves a "revolutionary committee," demanded a thorough investigation into the September 27 mass arrest in the village of Ozgorush, in the Toktogul district.

Jalal-Abad Oblast officials reported that day that 12 suspects were arrested for violently resisting police during a special operation against the illegal harvesting of marijuana.

The officials said about 50 men on horseback involved in the harvest attacked the police. The police said they were forced to open fire, injuring two local residents.

But protesters today said police had beaten their relatives, and insisted all those responsible for the alleged mistreatment be punished.

Protest leader Kadyraly Kojokeev told RFE/RL the protesters set up a traditional nomadic tent in front of the district administration building and will continue their protest until their demands are met.

He said protesters have also conveyed their demands to the central government, as they staged a similar protest in front of the Prosecutor-General's Office in Bishkek earlier this month.

Read more in Kyrgyz