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Archive for Kyrgyzstan

Newsline: Former Kyrgyz Diplomat Implicated In Customs-Fraud Case Freed From Custody

A former Kyrgyz diplomat mentioned in investigations into the high-profile killing in Istanbul of a Chinese citizen of Uyghur origin, whose statements to reporters led to a corruption scandal that shook the country in November, has been fined and released from custody. A spokeswoman for Bishkek’s Birinchi Mai district court, Aizada Momunova, told RFE/RL that the former consul-general in Istanbul, Erkin Sopokov, was ordered to pay 300,000 soms ($3,920) but given no jail time. (https://www.rferl.org/a/former-kyrgyz-diplomat-implicated-in-customs-fraud-case-freed-from-custody/30745565.html) There was no official announcement about Sopokov’s verdict and sentence at the time. The court’s website said on July 24 that Sopokov made a deal with investigators and pleaded guilty to abuse of office and illegal enrichment. No more details were provided. Sopokov was fired from his post in Istanbul and arrested following the assassination of Aierken Saimaiti, a Chinese national of Uyghur ethnicity, who was shot dead at an Istanbul cafe in November. Investigators revealed that Saimaiti used a vehicle with diplomatic license plates that belonged to Sopokov. Sopokov was accused of illegally lending his Range Rover to Saimaiti and other individuals, illegally earning $200,000 and misusing government-provided benefits.

Newsline: Kyrgyz FM Summons Belarusian Ambassador

Kyrgyzstan’s Foreign Ministry has summoned the Belarusian ambassador to Bishkek to give explanations about a meeting between President Alyaksandr Lukashenka and fugitive former Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev. The ministry said on August 7 that Ambassador Syarhey Ivanou was handed a note of protest. “The Kyrgyz side views it as absolutely unacceptable that during the meeting [between Lukashenka and Bakiev] the Kyrgyz Republic’s national symbols were used…which completely contradicts principles of friendship and cooperation between the two nations.” (https://www.rferl.org/a/kyrgyz-fm-summons-belarusian-ambassador-over-lukashenka-bakiev-meeting/30097537.html) Lukashenka’s official website said on August 6 that the Belarusian leader met with Bakiev in his office in Minsk on the occasion of the former Kyrgyz president’s 70th birthday, which he had marked several days earlier. Bakiev and some of his family members and associates have been residing in Belarus since April 2010 after he was toppled by violent anti-government protests.

Newsline: Alleged Chinese Embassy Attackers Jailed in Kyrgyzstan

A court in Kyrgyzstan has sentenced three people to lengthy jail terms for their alleged role in the car bomb attack on China’s embassy last August, but many questions remain over the rigor of the 10-month long investigation. Khasamidin Ismailov was handed an 18-year sentence by the court in Bishkek on June 27, while Hikmatillo Abdulazhanov and Kunazim Mansirova were each ordered to serve 10 years in jail apiece. All had pleaded not guilty to assisting the bomber in carrying out the August 30 embassy attack, which injured five people after a car packed with explosives rammed into the gates of the building. Nobody other than the attacker was killed in the attack. Lawyers for the three have said they will appeal. The account is confused and bears all too little scrutiny.


Newsline: Russian Embassy employee flees Kyrgyzstan after road accident

The first secretary of Russian Embassy in Kyrgyzstan Viktor Pukhov, who was involved in the road accident resulting in the death of a Kyrgyz citizen, fled Kyrgyzstan, an Embassy representative told AKIpress. The collision involving Toyota Prado car with diplomatic license plate D04061 and a Mercedes Sprinter was reported at 4 pm Bishkek time on February 16. Both of the drivers were hospitalized, one of them died. The doctors declared the 61-year-old driver of Mercedes Sprinter dead on February 17. Later, footage obtained by authorities showed the driver of diplomatic car run the red light and crashed into the Mercedes Sprinter.


Newsline: Russian Ambassador Against ‘Putin Pub’ In Kyrgyzstan

Russia’s Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan Andrei Krutko has protested a new restaurant in Bishkek named after the Russian president. Krutko said late that naming “a dubious drinking site” after “our president” is “unethical” and therefore he asked Bishkek authorities to remove the commercial banners and billboards advertising the pub. Krutko added that he would do everything possible “either to shut down the place or to make it change its name.”


Newsline: U.S. Embassy Criticizes Kyrgyzstan Proposal To Outlaw ‘Popularizing Homosexual Relations’

The United States has criticized proposed legislation which seeks to outlaw “popularizing homosexual relations” in the former Soviet nation of Kyrgyzstan. If the changes are approved, a person convicted of “forming a positive attitude to untraditional sexual relations” among minors or in mass media would face fines or a prison term of up to one year, according to Reuters. The U.S. embassy in Kyrgyzstan responded in a statement: “No one should be silenced or imprisoned because of who they are or whom they love. Laws that discriminate against one group of people threaten the fundamental rights of all people.”


Newsline: Kyrgyzstan Protests Car Accident Reportedly Involving Uzbek Embassy Official

Kyrgyzstan’s Foreign Ministry has sent a note of protest to Tashkent regarding a traffic accident involving an Uzbek Embassy official that reportedly led to a scuffle. The ministry’s press service reported its response on August 26. It said that a car with an Uzbek Embassy license plate collided with another vehicle after midnight on August 23 near a nightclub in Bishkek. According to the ministry, the Uzbek Embassy’s first secretary, whose name was given as “M. Khairitdinov,” and several men accompanying him, assaulted the Kyrgyz driver of another vehicle involved in the accident. Uzbek Embassy officials were not available for immediate comment.


Newsline: Switzerland establishes Kyrgyzstan embassy

Switzerland says it is seeking to expand its influence in Central Asia with the upgrading of a cooperation office in Kyrgyzstan into a full-fledged embassy. Swiss Council of States President Hans Altherr — speaker of Switzerland’s upper house of Parliament — and foreign development officials met in Bishkek Monday with Kyrgyz Deputy Prime Minister Djoomart Otorbaev to mark the inauguration of the new status between the two countries. At the meeting, Altherr said Switzerland will increase financial assistance to Kyrgyzstan 50 percent in the 2014-16 period. Switzerland has sent about $200 million in aid to Kyrgyzstan from 1995-2011.


Newsline: Demonstrators Attack Belarusian Embassy in Kyrgyzstan

Demonstrators in Bishkek, furious that Minsk is ignoring demands to extradite the brother of the former president to face murder charges, roughed up the Belarusian Embassy on August 28, local news agencies reported. The Bakiyevs were ousted in bloody street riots in April 2010, when Kurmanbek fled to Belarus. Bishkek has repeatedly requested his extradition, though the ex-autocrat is said to have scored Belarusian citizenship and a $2-million home in the capital. Upwards of 50 people, including relatives of those who died on April 7, 2010, attacked the embassy, Radio Azattyk reported, breaking windows and destroying furniture. Janysh, his brother’s security boss, is accused of giving orders to fire on the crowd as Bakiyev clung to power, resulting in about 90 dead and hundreds wounded. Bishkek is trying the brothers in absentia. Ambassador Viktor Denisenko met protestors and made some vague promises. Despite the violence, Minsk says it has no plans to recall its ambassador from Kyrgyzstan. Bishkek yanked its ambassador out of Belarus last week and has turned to the Commonwealth of Independent States, a group of post-Soviet states, to lean on Minsk to help with its extradition request.


Newsline: Switzerland to open embassy in Kyrgyzstan

Switzerland embassy will be opened in Kyrgyzstan in autumn 2012, informs Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. “Government of Switzerland decided to increase level of its mission in Kyrgyzstan to open the embassy in Bishkek in autumn 2012. Department of Foreign Affairs head Didier Burkhalter officially informed Kyrgyz Foreign Affairs Minister Ruslan Kazabaev,” explained the agency representatives. “The Embassy Opening in Bishkek is an expression of firm commitment of Swiss Confederation to develop further relations in political, economic and cultural spheres as well as technical cooperation. We are sure that the our embassy will promote further strengthening of relations which have been building by our countries during 20 years,” said in the official letter.