OSH, Kyrgyzstan -- Hundreds of supporters of former Kyrgyz parliament speaker Akmatbek Keldibekov are blocking a major highway in the southern province of Osh and are demanding his release from pretrial detention.
Some 300 of Keldibekov's supporters set up four traditional Central Asian yurts in the center and along the Osh-Erkechtam highway on May 28 and are blocking the passage of cars.
Local authorities have failed to persuade the protesters to abandon their action.
Hundreds of vehicles are backed up on both sides of the roadblock.
Keldibekov's supporters have held several rallies in Osh and Bishkek since his arrest in November.
He has been charged with abuse of office and financial misdeeds while running the State Social Fund and Tax Service.
Keldibekov, a member of the opposition Ata-Jurt (Fatherland) party, also served as parliament speaker between 2010 and 2011.