BISHKEK, October 11 (RIA Novosti) – A court in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek ordered a two-month arrest for protesters, whose rally over a Canadian-ran gold mine turned violent earlier this week, prosecutors said on Thursday.
The Kumtor mine, one of the largest in Central Asia, has for the past year been at the center of a tussle between Toronto-listed Centerra Gold and Kyrgyzstan, which has fought to boost its control over the project.
Hundreds of protesters who gathered Monday in front of a government building in Karakol, the administrative center of the northeast Issyk-Kul Province, reportedly demanded the nationalization of the Kumtor Gold Company, the mine operator and the country's largest gold-mining enterprise,.
The rally turned into violent clashes between protesters and riot police as the evening descended. Protesters threw stones and Molotov cocktails at officers and blocked local governor Emilbek Kaptagayev in a car doused with gasoline.
Police detained 23 people on suspicion of taking part in mass disturbances. Ten of them were placed under a two-month arrest, the rest were released as there was not enough evidence of their involvement, prosecutors said.
Those arrested were charged, among other things, with complicity in hostage-taking, complicity in threat to kill, violence against a representative of authority, hooliganism and resisting to police.