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Supporters Of Kyrgyz Ex-Speaker Vow To Continue Protest, Despite Ruling

The Osh-Erkechtam highway in southern Kyrgyzstan has been blocked since May 27. (file photo)
Some 300 supporters of detained former Kyrgyz parliament speaker Akmatbek Keldibekov say they will continue blockading a highway, despite a court ruling to disband the protest.

Protest leader Kerim Sarybashev told RFE/RL on June 16 that the Osh-Erkechtam highway in the country's south will remain blocked until Keldibekov is transferred from pretrial detention to house arrest.

Meanwhile, a ruling by the Alai District Court in Osh that the highway blockage is illegal comes into force at 2 p.m. local time on June 16.

The Kyrgyz Interior Ministry has warned the protesters that "all legal measures will be undertaken" to clear the highway, which has been blocked since May 27.

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 from 2010 to 2011.