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Osh Hunger Strikers Require Medical Assistance

Medical assistance has been requested for four Kyrgyz hunger strikers protesting the detention of the country's former parliament speaker.

Fifteen women in the southern city of Osh began a hunger strike on December 11, demanding the release of Akmatbek Keldibekov.

More people joined the hunger strike after the four women had to abandon their protest on December 17.

There are now 20 hunger strikers, including eight men, in three yurts set up on Osh's central square.

Keldibekov, a native of the Osh region, was arrested last month amid an investigation into alleged abuse of office and financial misdeeds while running the State Social Fund and Tax Service several years ago.

Keldibekov is a member of the opposition Ata-Jurt (Fatherland) party and served as parliament speaker between 2010 and 2011.

He denies any wrongdoing.