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Mass arrests: Petition launched for release of imprisoned activists

A petition appeared on the website Change.org with the demand to release activists, politicians and bloggers who were arrested in a criminal case on attempt to seize power by force.

The petition was created by representatives of the Committee for Protection of the Rights of Political Prisoners. It says that legal chaos is now happening in Kyrgyzstan, where freedom of speech and democracy were one of the main achievements in Central Asia. Freedom House data shows that Kyrgyzstan has sharply worsened its position in 2022 and turned from a partially democratic country into an authoritarian one.

«Recent events in our country testify to all this: mass political repressions, accompanied by fabrication of criminal cases, injustice and lawlessness in relation to a wide range of politicians, activists, journalists,» authors of the petition say.

They point out that important wordings in the criminal case were changed: the word «Kempir-Abad» disappeared, and «organization of riots with the aim of seizing power» appeared.

«We would like to note that the members of the committee expressed public inquiries, they were also concerned about the lack of transparency of the actions of the authorities, procedural violations within the walls of the Parliament regarding the transfer of Kempir-Abad to the neighboring country. One of their main demands was the publication of protocols related to border issues and holding of open public hearings on the important for the whole of Kyrgyzstan issue. We would like to note that the protocol has not yet been made public. The detainees are going through hard times now, the defendants went on a hunger strike in protest against lawlessness. Some of them are in critical condition,» the statement says.

Activists demand the release of political prisoners and return to the legal field.

At least 17 defendants in the criminal case on an attempt to seize power by force, held in the Bishkek remand center 1, went on a hunger strike. The condition of ex-deputy of the Parliament Orozaiym Narmatova and activist Perizat Suranova has deteriorated sharply.

The arrested placed all responsibility for the consequences of the hunger strike personally on the president of the Kyrgyz Republic Sadyr Japarov, Chairman of the State Committee for National Security Kamchibek Tashiev, Minister of Internal Affairs Ulan Niyazbekov, Prosecutor General Kurmankul Zulushev and the investigators, prosecutors and judges.