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Kyrgyz Opposition to gather dozens of thousands to protest detentions

October 04, 2012, 10:25 UTC+3

On Wednesday night, police arrested three leaders of the parliament's Opposition from the Ata-Zhurt Party

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BISHKEK, October 4 (Itar-Tass) — The Kyrgyz Opposition said it would gather dozens of thousands of its supporters to protest the detention of Opposition leaders, press secretary of the Ata-Zhurt Party Nurgazy Anarkulov stated here on Thursday.

Mass protests will be held in southern regional centers of Osh, Jalal-Abad and Batken, as well as in the town of Karakol, the administrative centre of the Issyk-Kul region, and Bishkek. "We believe some 20,000 will rally in each of the southern cities; we plan to gather up to 5,000 supporters in Bishkek," Anarkulov said.

He promised that he party would not resort to any violent actions against the government and that the rallies would be peaceful.

On Wednesday night, police arrested three leaders of the parliament's Opposition from the Ata-Zhurt Party: its leader Kamchybek Tashiyev, deputy speaker Talant Mamytov and lawmaker Sadyr Zhaparov. They are in custody for 48 hours on suspicion of involvement in the riots that occurred in Bishkek on Wednesday.

Criminal proceedings were opened over "the attempt of violent government overthrow and calls for overthrowing government."

"We'll be seeking to secure the release of our associates by all legal means, including by means of rallies," the press secretary said.

On Wednesday, a 500-strong rally demanded the nationalization of Kumtor, a large Kyrgyz-Canadian gold mining joint venture. They attempted to break through on to the premises of the government house which also houses the parliament and the presidential administration.

Tashiyev was in the first ranks of the protesters. "Simply I wanted to come to my office," he said later in comments on his actions.

The servicemen guarding the building used stun grenades and tear gas to disperse the attackers. The crowd was edged out and dispersed across the city.

Twelve persons were injured in the clashes, mostly police officers.

The republic's Interior Ministry later said it fully controlled the situation. Vigilante teams from the "Patriot" people's association were recruited to help watch law and order in the city.

Kyrgyzstan set up an inter-departmental group to investigate the riot.

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