Kyrgyz siloviki fear that the ruling of the Pervomaysky District Court of Biskhek on June 23, which recognized the chairman of Mekenim-Kyrgyzstan party Urmat Baryktabasov a Kazakh citizen, may drive the opposition to storm of the House of Government again. This decision virtually ruined last hopes of Mr. Baryktabasov’s supporters to register him as a presidential candidate. The local legislation does not recognize the double citizenship and requires that Kyrgyz presidential candidates reside in the territory of the country for the last 15 years.
We remind our readers that supporters of Mekenim-Kyrgyzstan party staged a rally on June 17 demanding that the decision of the central electoral commission to deny Urmat Baryktabasov a registration be invalidated. The rally turned into the storming and seizure of the House of Government. The building was cleared by law enforcement officers in a few hours, and some two hundred activists of Mekenim-Kyrgyzstan party were arrested. The leader of the party was placed on an international wanting list. The General Prosecutor’s Office charged him with an attempt of the violent seizure of power. Kyrgyz interior ministry sued Mr. Baryktabasov demanding the reparation of over $600,000damages caused by the disorders and clashes.
The same day, Kyrgyz acting president Kurmanbek Bakiev accused the former Kyrgyz leader Askar Akaev, his elder son Aydar and his son-in-law Adil Toygonbaev of bankrolling the upheavals. This theory was confirmed by two deputy premiers Adakhan Madumarov and Daniyar Usenov the following day. The Interior Minister Muratbek Sutalinov shortly stated that the authorities were preparing to repulse a new storm of the government building. Yet, no actions of the opponents of the new power ensued. What is more, it is virtually impossible to find anybody of Urmat Baryktabasov’s entourage. His supporters turned off their cell phones and do not turn up in public.
Ten days after a bizarre seizure of the government building in Bishkek, many people regard all these events as an unsuccessful staging organized by the new authorities to mould an image of “the enemy of the Kyrgyz revolution”. Mekenim-Kyrgyzstan’s few members who have not gone underground say that 60 party activists and their relatives were arrested on June 16 night, i.e. a day before the events described. “We were going to stage a rally demanding that our leader be allowed to run for presidency. But we found among ourselves total strangers, some 500 people – they incited the disorders and stormed the House of Government,” the editor-in-chief of the party’s newspaper Meken Bermet Turdiniyazova says.
Based in London, we are an informal group dedicated to supporting democracy and human rights throughout
the former Soviet Union. Our aims are:
Informing the public about issues in this area that receive little coverage in the Western media.
Staging peaceful demonstrations and letter-writing campaigns in support of specific causes.
Supporting and publicising nonviolent pro-democracy groups throughout the region.
Encouraging European and American involvement.
Support the Belarusian cartoonists
Third Way, the Belarusian organisation whose members are being prosecuted for producing satirical cartoons about Lukashenka,
have set up a web page where you can make a donation via PayPal. The group urgently
need money for their legal defence and operating expenses. Please give what you can today! Read more
We are continuing to focus our efforts on the Belarusian prisoner of conscience Mikhail Marinich.
We are campaigning for him to receive proper medical treatment, to be permitted to see his family,
and ultimately to be released from prison pending a review of his case. You can help by distributing
our factsheets and letters.
Members of these groups have joined our blog to share their views and experiences.