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Kyrgyz Judges In Hiding After Jailed Opposition Lawmakers' Release

BISHKEK -- Three Kyrgyz judges who acquitted three convicted opposition lawmakers have apparently gone into hiding.

A spokeswoman for the Kyrgyz Supreme Court told journalists on June 19 that the judges have not come to work since the previous day and their whereabouts are unknown.

Dozens of activists have demanded that judges explain on what grounds the three leaders of the opposition Fatherland (Ata-Jurt) party, Kamchybek Tashiev, Sadyr Japarov, and Talant Mamytov, were acquitted.

The three were sentenced in March to prison terms of between one year and 18 months for an alleged coup attempt, after being arrested in October for their role in violent antigovernment protests.

The three were acquitted by an appeals court on June 17, after their supporters threw plastic bottles and shoes at the judges.