Kyrgyzstan: Protest Against Tree-Chopping Leads to Detentions
City hall in the capital of Kyrgyzstan followed through on threats to chop down swathes of trees on June 2, sparking angry scenes of protest.
Police were summoned to maintain public order and ended up detaining several demonstrators.
At the start of May, Bishkek city hall announced plans to fell more than 1,000 trees to widen a thoroughfare as part of a project to ease traffic congestion. The idea sparked anger from residents and environmentalists, however, who say that authorities are making the city a more unpleasant place in which to live.
Responding to the outcry, the mayor promised to delay works before city deputies could meet to discuss the issue. But then on June 2, workers from Zelenstroi, which is responsible for maintenance of parks and plants in the city, turned up and began sawing down trees unannounced.
Mayor Albek Ibraimov said that the meeting of deputies was in fact held late on June 1, although no members of the public seem to have been informed of the event.
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