59 Kyrgyz opposition activists arrested after clashes with police

At least 20 opposition activists have been arrested by police while they tried to break through a police cordon at a government conference in the capital Bishkek on Tuesday, police and opposition leaders said.

Reportedly, opposition supporters clashed with police when they were not allowed to handover a letter with their demands to President Kuramanbek Bakiyev and some 750 delegates attending the Kurultai or National Assembly.

According to police 19 people have been detained for holding an illegal rally. However, opposition put the number at 30.
Elsewhere in the city of Osh in southern Kyrgyzstan, 200 protesters clashed with police as they rallied in support of Ismail Isakov, a jailed opposition politician. Police detained 40 people.

Tuesday’s protests come amid growing opposition to Bakiev’s rule, five years after protests overthrown his predecessor, Askar Akaev.