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Kyrgyzstan Review, 10 years ago




[18.11.2OO2] Kyrgyz authorities expel protesters from capital

Kyrgyz police forced more than 100 opposition activists onto four buses and sent them out of the capital Bishkek to prevent them from organizing further protests.
 
The expulsions Sunday were the latest government move to try to defuse a protest movement intended to force President Askar Akayev to step down.
 
Opposition activists had hoped to convene a meeting of 1,000 supporters from different parts of Kyrgyzstan to press their demands that Akayev resign, that officials responsible for political violence this past spring be brought to justice, and that an opposition candidate be allowed to take part in regional elections.
 
Kyrgyzstan has seen numerous anti-government protests since police killed five people at a March rally in the impoverished south region of Aksy. It was the first political violence in post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan, which is hosting U.S. and other troops taking part in the anti-terror operation in nearby Afghanistan.
 
The deputy head of the Bishkek police department, Nikolai Tyablin, said that 129 protesters had been arrested on Sunday. He said that their attempt to hold a demonstration violated many laws.
 
"I'm warning you on behalf of the interior minister that in such violations are repeated, harsher measures will be taken," Tyablin said.
 
He said that the detained protesters would be bused to their places of residence. However, at least some of the detainees were dropped in the sparsely inhabited Susamyr Valley, about 150 kilometers (94 miles) south of the capital, opposition legislators said Monday.
 
Police on Monday detained 63 people who tried to hold a protest in central Bishkek, said Dzholdoshbek Buzurmankulov, the spokesman for the Interior Ministry.
 
Associated Press, November 18, 2002

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