BISHKEK -- Dozens of activists, including many elderly men, have picketed outside Kyrgyzstan's parliament in Bishkek to continue pressure since authorities detained three opposition leaders after violence marred a protest.
The protesters at the November 12 picket were demanding the immediate release of three opposition members of parliament -- Kamchybek Tashiev, Sadyr Japarov, and Talant Mamytov -- all of whom are leaders of the opposition Ata-Jurt (Homeland) party.
They have been charged with provoking public unrest in connection with an October 3 demonstration in the capital to demand the nationalization of the largest gold-mining operation in Kyrgyzstan, the Kumtor mine, which is owned by a Canada-based company. That gathering was attended by about 1,000 demonstrators.
In addition to freedom for the detained men, the picketers, who call themselves the National Patriotic Movement, told RFE/RL that they also demand the dismissal of the parliament, the holding of early parliamentary election, the nationalization of all industrial facilities and mines in the country, and the adoption of a new Kyrgyz constitution.
The elderly protesters performed an Islamic prayer near the parliament to support the detained men.
On October 5, the trio's preliminary arrest was extended to two months.