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Ivar Dale: Talks of taxi drivers about politics - refreshing side of Kyrgyzstan

Ivar Dale is a well-known human rights activist. He is a Senior Adviser at the Norwegian Helsinki Committee and heads its Central Asian branch.

Ivar is from Hungary, but traveled all over the world. He is a frequent guest in Kyrgyzstan. In 2008, he was not allowed to enter the country without explaining the reasons. He was just put on a plane to Moscow, and sent back.

Ivar Dale criticized the failure of the judicial reform in Kyrgyzstan. But, despite everything, he sincerely loves our country and always comes here with pleasure.

— What surprises you in Kyrgyzstan?

 - When I come to Kyrgyzstan from one of your neighboring countries, and Kyrgyz taxi drivers start telling me about politics. This is quite unique in Central Asia, and a very refreshing side of the country.

— What upsets you in Kyrgyzstan?

 — I think we are witnessing an attempt to return the country to an authoritarian rule. I think that this is disrespect for those who died during the revolution, and a way to prevent positive development.

— Name three things that you liked in Kyrgyzstan.

 — It is not difficult. Chingiz Aitmatov, cognac «Kyrgyzstan" and Karakol-style ashlyam-fu.

— Do you have favorite places in Kyrgyzstan?

— There are a lot of them. I love Bishkek, this is one of my favorite cities, and I feel at home here. But I also think that places like Naryn and Batken are fascinating and beautiful. And, of course, Issyk-Kul Lake is fantastic, especially its southern shore.