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Bishkek Protesters Demand Utilities

BISHKEK -- Some 20 people picketed the Kyrgyz government building today to demand infrastructure for a settlement near Bishkek where they live and for their formal registration as residents, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

The picket by residents of Jumgal-Ata is the latest in a series of similar protests by inhabitants of settlements near Bishkek.

One of the protesters, Daut Shaidinov, told RFE/RL their primary demand is the provision of electricity and mains water and sewerage. He said the protesters will block a major highway near Bishkek if the government fails to provide those services.

Jumgal-Ata is a settlement on the northern outskirts of Bishkek where the protesters have been living for several years in homes that they built without obtaining official permission on land that they do not own.

Inhabitants of other such settlements near Bishkek, such as Muras-Ordo, Ak-Jar, and Ak-Ordo have staged similar protests recently and received promises from the government that their demands will be met in the immediate future.

Read more in Kyrgyz here