Hundreds Rally In Jalal-Abad For Release Of Opposition Leaders
October 05, 2012
by RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service
JALAL-ABAD, Kyrgyzstan -- At least 700 protesters gathered in Kyrgyzstan's southern city of Jalal-Abad on October 5 to demand the immediate release of three opposition members of parliament against a backdrop of tension over calls for the nationalization of a Kyrgyz gold mine.
Kamchybek Tashiev, Sadyr Japarov, and Talant Mamytov -- who are leaders of the opposition Ata-Jurt (Homeland) party -- were detained on October 3 for their alleged roles in violent protests by about 1,000 demonstrators in Bishkek earlier the same day.
Their initial detention period of 48 hours was due to expire on October 5, prompting the gathering of supporters.
Protesters were demanding the nationalization of the largest gold-mining operation in Kyrgyzstan, the Kumtor mine, which is owned by a Canada-based company.
Tashiev joined the crowd and called on protesters to overthrow the government.
Some protesters broke into the fenced perimeter around the parliament building.
Police subsequently dispersed the demonstrators.
The decision on the possible extension of the three politicians' detention is expected later on October 5.
Copyright (c) 2012. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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