former parliament speaker has been arrested in the brief takeover of Kyrgyzstan's government headquarters last week, according to a news report Sunday.
Mukar Cholponbayev, who served as speaker of the Central Asian nation's lower parliament house in the late 1990s, was arrested in the capital Bishkek on Saturday, the Interfax news agency reported, citing an unidentified Interior Ministry official.
According to Interfax, the official said Cholponbayev was suspected of helping organize the takeover Friday, in which about 2,000 supporters of a would-be presidential contender stormed the headquarters.
Troops from the Interior Ministry forced them out about an hour later, using tear gas to disperse the crowd in the biggest unrest since opposition protesters seized the government building on March 24 and ousted longtime President Askar Akayev, who fled to Russia.
The crowd was protesting election officials' refusal to register Urmat Baryktabasov to run in Kyrgyzstan's July 10 presidential vote. Officials have said he is ineligible because he was a citizen of neighboring Kazakhstan. Acting President Kurmanbek Bakiyev is expected to win the election.
Based in London, we are an informal group dedicated to supporting democracy and human rights throughout
the former Soviet Union. Our aims are:
Informing the public about issues in this area that receive little coverage in the Western media.
Staging peaceful demonstrations and letter-writing campaigns in support of specific causes.
Supporting and publicising nonviolent pro-democracy groups throughout the region.
Encouraging European and American involvement.
Support the Belarusian cartoonists
Third Way, the Belarusian organisation whose members are being prosecuted for producing satirical cartoons about Lukashenka,
have set up a web page where you can make a donation via PayPal. The group urgently
need money for their legal defence and operating expenses. Please give what you can today! Read more
We are continuing to focus our efforts on the Belarusian prisoner of conscience Mikhail Marinich.
We are campaigning for him to receive proper medical treatment, to be permitted to see his family,
and ultimately to be released from prison pending a review of his case. You can help by distributing
our factsheets and letters.
Members of these groups have joined our blog to share their views and experiences.