This is the second in a series of reports on opposition movements in Central Asia and the Caucasus. Read more about this series.
The government of Kyrgyzstan, once considered Central Asia's most reform-minded, has in recent years taken steady steps in an authoritarian direction. A concurrent rise of opposition to President Askar Akayev's administration combines elements of both traditional political protest and underground activity, punctuated in 2002 by violent confrontation and large-scale protests in the economically depressed and politically marginalized South.
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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.