Kyrgyzstan ex-President arrest failed
The speaker of the Kyrgyz Parliament Dastan Dzhumabekov interrupted his vacation and headed to the capital Bishkek, his secretary told Akipress. The crisis meeting was proposed by a few Members of Parliament after the failure of arrest of ex-President Almazbek Atambayev, resulted in clashes between commandos and the supporters, who considered the action was politically motivated and unjust.
At present the residence of Atambayev is in flames, the Koi Tash village is barricaded by his supporters, preventing police to enter, and ex-President whereabouts are unknown. He made a statement via telephone, calling police to restrain from shooting people to avoid “the worst“.
The supporters of ex-President and inhabitants of Koi Tash village have captured a few commandos, and demanded to restore the internet and electricity in the exchange for their release. At present the information concerning the evens in the village is contradictory. (Images below: Atambayev greets his supporters in the beginning of the police operation attempting his arrest).
On June 27 the Parliament of Kyrgyzstan voted to strip Atambayev of the immunity and status of the ex-President, opening the way to trial. He is suspected in a number of crimes, including corruption in the reconstruction of the Bishkek power plant, the illegal release of the criminal Aziz Batukayev; and illegal obtaining of a plot for the construction of a house in the village of Koi Tash. The lawyer of the ex-President Slesarev assessed the decision of the deputies as not consistent with the country’s Constitution. Atambayev denied all the allegations, insisting the entire process is politically motivated.
A month ago Atambayev was commenting on his possible arrest: “I am ready for anything. I will resist. I have a premium weapon. Speaking specifically about this. The Kyrgyz have a proverb: rather than lying to die, it is better to die by shooting. But I will be alone, there will be no one near me”.
At present in Koi Tash, located 20 km from Bishkek, the electricity and internet were cutt off. Journalists from the Kyrgyz media reporting the special operation to arrest ex-President stopped contacting the newsroom. They are not available either on the Internet or by phone. All TV channels, sympathizing ex-President are shut down since the beginning of the special operation of his arrest.
The authorities informed about one dead, and 43 people from Koi Tash clashes hospitalized.
Atambayev led Kyrgyzstan from 2011 to 2017 and became the first president to voluntarily leave his post after a full first term. He initiated the nomination of the incumbent president Sooronbai Jeenbekov as a candidate. Last spring, Atambayev publicly admitted that there were serious disagreements with Jeenbekov, from then their rivalry became public.
The European Union supports the democratisation of Kyrgyzstan;
“Support to democratic elections as the cornerstone of any democratic system has been provided since 2010, and a new programme for democratisation through electoral reform has become operational in 2016 (€13.1 million). A substantial Rule of Law programme (€13.5 million for 2014-2018, €13 million for 2018-2021) helps to enhance the quality of legislation and increase the efficiency, independence, professionalism and capacities of the judiciary. In addition, the EU provided support to people affected by the violence and financed a large number of projects aiming at increasing human security, building trust and preventing future conflicts. Around €20 million has been committed for stabilisation and democratisation support.” (Source: European External Action Service).