The prosecution of officials over a March protest that left five dead is exacerbating the confrontational mood in Kyrgyzstan. President Askar Akayev's administration says local authorities are responsible for the tragedy, while presidential critics believe top officials in Bishkek gave the order to shoot. The trial has not only fueled outrage among long-time government opponents, but it also seems to be antagonizing a significant number of law-enforcement officials a constituency that Akayev has relied on in the past to shore-up his authority.
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Alisher Khamidov is currently a Muskie Fellow graduate student at the Joan B. Kroc Institute of Peace Studies at Notre Dame University.