Articles tagged with: Kyrgyzstan April 2010 uprising
This weekend marks the one-year anniversary of last year’s revolution in Kyrgyzstan, and considering the sheer scale and importance of the story, not to mention all the grey hairs it gave me as an editor trying to put together coherent coverage of it, I would be deeply remiss if I didn’t say something.
Our Russian site has a great photo-essay on the commemoration event (an English translation is on the way), and our friends at RFE/RL have run a positive assessment by Pete Baumgartner, their O-Wire editor and possibly the most laid back man in Central Asian journalism. ;-)
As for me, it’s hard to believe it’s really been a year. For a time, it seemed as if all there was to Central Asia were upheavals in Kyrgyzstan — it was an exciting time to be covering the region. Kyrgyzstan has also played an important role in my journalistic career, as I was the editor of neweurasia‘s predecessor site, Thinking-East, during their last revolution.
I don’t really have my own assessment to give. On the one hand, it’s been great seeing civil society re-emerging as a viable political force again; on the other hand, it’s been distressing to see Kyrgyzstan’s economy continue to slide and the rivalry for influence between the United States, Russia and China deepen. I was recently talking with a Belgian academic who lamented, “The cheery, gullible Kyrgyz we all knew in the 90s and 00s have gone.”
Nevertheless, I’m hopeful. This is a true underdog nation. They continue to beat the odds and surprise. And I’ll finally be going there for the first time in my career in a little while, an experience to which I’m really looking forward. :-)
Photo report from the historical event: the inauguration of Roza Otunbaeva, first female president of Central Asia, that took place last Saturday, July 3, 2010.
Acting defense minister Ismail Isakov accompanying Roza Otunbaeva to the gates of National Philarmonic
Recent story about detention of Kurmanbek Bakiyev’s second son, Maxim Bakiyev, was continued on Friday. Carter Ruck, a law firm representing interests of Maxim Bakiyev, issued a statement saying that he was granted a ‘temporary asylum’ in Britain, where he was detained by Border Agency. One day later, on June 19, UK Border Agency denied this fact, saying that there was not such a thing as ‘temporary asylum’ and he was simply given a permission to stay in the country for the period of consideration of his asylum claim. According to Voice of Russia, the law firm representative called the text of their previous statement “inaccurate” and they had referred to ‘temporary admission’, not ‘temporary asylum’. Read the full story »
Britain’s “The Sun” reported today that the son of the ousted President Bakiyev – Maxim Bakiyev was detained by UK Border Agency, after he landed in Farnborough Airport. He was accused of embezzlement and abuse of authority as head of the Central Agency for Development, Investments and Innovations of Kyrgyzstan and soon put on the “wanted” list of INTERPOL.
Although, “The Sun” could not get a confirmation from the UK Border Agency, Kyrgyz First National Channel confirmed the info with reference to Keneshbek Duishebayev, head of the State National Security Service, who said that “we can call this an official information”. Read the full story »
Our bloggers have already posted that large number of weapons had been lost during the April events in Talas region and around the headquarters of the opposition in Bishkek (‘Media forum’ building). After these facts, the Interior Ministry of Kyrgyzstan has launched a raid “Arsenal” aimed at collecting of weapons which got into the hands of citizen during the April events.
Raid “Arsenal” is organized in two stages. Previously, citizens voluntarily returned the arms, and they were exempted from criminal liability. Now, apparently due to the reluctance of citizens to return the lost weapons, the Interior Ministry has announced rewards for returned lost weapons. For propelled grenades and machine guns citizens will receive is 8,000 som/item, for submachine guns and rifles – 4,800 som/intem. Hunting rifles, mines, grenades and pistols will have a rewarding price of 3,200 som/item. And hunting gas guns – 1,600 soms.
In total, as the raid record shows, 136 stolen arms were taken back from citizen. Returning weapons for a fee will continure until the end of the second phase of the raid. Accoring to the Criminal Code of the country, for illegal possession and distribution of weapons, a person can be sentenced from 2 to 5 years of imprisonment. According to Rafik Mambetaliev, chief of police department of Bishkek, the facts of the using the lost weapons in crimes were not found.
Editor’s note: Could a Kyrgyz-style uprising explode in the most unlikeliest of places — Ashgabad? neweurasia’s Annsoltan thinks it just might. She interviews a major figure in the Turkmen opposition in exile and gives her own thoughts: “Make no mistake, Ashgabad’s totalitarian system is very effective,” she writes, “but there is only so long hypnosis and outright repression can prevent an explosion.”
These days many regional experts and analysts, including neweurasia‘s own Alpharabius, Dushanbe, and Botur, are pondering whether the Kyrgyzstan uprising could have a spill-over effect onto the other Central Asian countries, especially neighboring democratic Tajikistan. Here are my two manat on the subject.
Domino effect theories are popular because they are so elegant and simple. The truth is none of the other countries, including Tajikistan, have the same kind of parliamentary autonomy, vibrant political opposition movement, international and domestic NGO presence, and independent media tradition like Kyrgyzstan. Indeed, Kyrgyzstan is the only country where anti-government protests are even allowed. But I think there is one possible candidate: believe it or not, Turkmenistan.
This is the translation of my article in russian.
After the April events in Kyrgyzstan in 2010, one of the questions vigorously discussed in the country is the creation of a parliamentary republic, an idea initiated by leading members of so called ‘Interim Government (IG)’. They explain their initiative through the argument that the presidential form of government has failed in practice in independent Kyrgyzstan over the last fifteen years of its existence, which is evident by the results of governance by the first and second presidents of the country. Therefore, in the members’ opinion, it is time to shift to parliamentary form of government. This will be not only more effective for Kyrgyzstan, as they assume, but also a key solution to a problem of division of power between the key members of IG.
Late on May 19 there appeared audio-recording of telephone conversations of allegedly Maksim and Janybek Bakievs, the son and brother of Kurmanbek Bakiyev, the second Kyrgyz president in exile. In their nearly 40-minute conversation, Maksim and Janybek discussed their plans on a new “Bakiyev’s back” revolution in the country, proposed candidates to be “a leader for TV”:
The period of 40 days of mourning for the victims of the revolution has just passed. Throughout the last few weeks, rumors about the things that would follow worried the locals in Bishkek. As I wrote before many businesses took all goods out of their shops, shopping centers errected barricades against new looting attempts and citizen patrols were revitalized. Read the full story »