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Protesters Demand Release Of Detained Kyrgyz Policemen

BAZAR-KORGON, Kyrgyzstan -- Some 400 protesters blocked a highway in southern Kyrgyzstan on October 3 to demand the immediate release of four local policemen detained over the death of a Russian citizen in August, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

The protest blocked the Osh-Bishkek highway in southern Jalal-Abad Oblast.

An RFE/RL correspondent reports that up to 200 cars are stuck on a bridge in Bazar-Korgon which the protesters refuse to leave until the four policemen are released.

The four police officers have been charged in connection with the death of Usmanjan Kholmirzaev, a local Uzbek who was a Russian citizen. The four are charged with torture, abuse of office, and extortion.

Kholmirzaev died in a Jalal-Abad hospital on August 9, two days after being questioned by Bazar-Korgon district police about the deadly clashes between local Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in June last year.

The autopsy report said Kholmirzaev died of serious injuries, namely numerous fractured ribs and damage to his internal organs.

Bazar-Korgon police chief Ernist Moldokeev was fired later in August in the wake of Kholmirzaev's death.

Read more in Kyrgyz here