Rallies of protest in Kyrgyzstan

Several hundred inhabitants of Kyrgyzstan's Aksy district are heading towards the regional center of Dzhalal Abad to join mass rallies of protest, reported the Kyrgyz interior ministry on Friday.

According to police information, the number of ralliers reaches 600; the majority of them are young people aged about 20. At this moment, the ralliers are approximately 70 kilometers away from the regional center.

The ralliers demand full acquittal of Azimbek Beknazarov, a deputy of the Legislative Assembly of the Kyrgyz parliament who was sentenced to prison for abuse of office. They also demand that those guilty of the tragic death of ralliers in support of Beknazarov on March 17, 2002 be brought to trial.

So far, the marching column has been quiet, said the interior ministry. Upon reaching Dzhalal Abad, the ralliers intend to post pickets in front of the regional administration building.

Beknazarov was sentenced to one year in prison by the court of Tash Kumyr, but released from custody in the court hall on account of the time spent in prison during court proceedings. The ralliers, however, protest against the whole situation and want the deputy to be fully acquitted.

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