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Supporters Of Ex-Kyrgyz Speaker Unblock Highway, Continue Protest

Hundreds of supporters of detained former Kyrgyz parliament speaker Akmatbek Keldibekov have dismantled barriers blocking a major highway in the southern Osh region but continue to remain at the site.

Protest leader Kerim Sarybashev told RFE/RL that the highway was cleared on June 22 following talks with Deputy Prime Minister Abdyrakhman Mamataliev and lawmaker Ismail Isakov.

The highway has been blocked since May 27.

Sarybashev said protesters also took into account the approaching Islamic month of Ramadan when they made their decision.

Keldibekov, a member of the opposition Ata-Jurt (Fatherland) party, was arrested in November and charged with abuse of office and financial misdeeds while running the State Social Fund and Tax Service.

He also served as parliament speaker between 2010 and 2011.

Keldibekov's supporters say his arrest is politically motivated.

A court decision on his transfer to possible house arrest is due on June 27.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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