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Convicted leader of Kyrgyz opposition goes on hunger strike

June 03, 2013, 16:34 UTC+3

He is being kept at the detention centre of the Kyrgyz State National Security Committee

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BISHKEK, June 3 (Itar-Tass) - One of the leaders of the Kyrgyz opposition party Ata-Zhurt (Fatherland) Kamchybek Tashiyev, who is being kept at the detention centre of the Kyrgyz State National Security Committee, went on a dry hunger strike, the public relations department of the republican State National Security Committee told Itar-Tass on Monday.

“The opposition leader under investigation is being kept under constant supervision of a doctor of the detention centre, who estimated that Tashiyev’s state of health does not cause any fears,” the public relations department said. “He did not file any complaints and pleas to the terms of keeping in the detention centre,” the public relations department noted. Last October, deputy of the national parliament Tashiyev with several hundreds of supporters tried to break in the building of the Kyrgyz Supreme Council. The attempt at capture was suppressed by the servicemen who guarded the building, as the latter used the special equipment to break up the mob. Last March, the oppositionist was sentenced to 1.5 years in prison for public appeals for a forcible seizure of power in the country. He is to be released from custody in a few months, however, his lawyers appealed the court verdict in a higher legal instance.

The participants in the protest actions that blocked the Bishkek-Osh strategic highway also demand that Tashiyev should be released. The highway stretches at about 600 kilometres, connecting northern and southern regions in Kyrgyzstan. As a result up to 500 vehicles amassed near the village Barpy, the Jalal Abad Region. The situation remains tense there, because the drivers and passengers that got stuck in the traffic jam are indignant over the actions of Tashiyev’s supporters. Meanwhile, President Almazbek Atambayev urged the chief law enforcers to refrain from forcible actions towards people that blocked the road. However, he pledged that all masterminds and participants in the protest action will be compulsorily “brought to responsibility” for illegal actions.

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