Kyrgyzstan: "Bolshevik-style" Arrests and Threats


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Date: Sat, 1 Apr 2000 09:34:13 +0200 (EET)
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Subject: Kyrgyzstan: "Bolshevik-style" Arrests and Threats

From: MINELRES moderator <minelres@mailbox.riga.lv>

Original sender: International Helsinki Federation <office@ihf-hr.org>

Kyrgyzstan: "Bolshevik-style" Arrests and Threats


              Kyrgysztan:  "Bolshevik-style" Arrests and
              Threats Against Journalists, Human Rights
                   Defenders and Opposition Figures
 
Bishkek and Vienna, 31 March 2000.   Kyrgyz authorities are
threatening journalist Zamira Sydykova, editor-in-chief of Res
Publica, and human rights defenders including the Chairman of the
Kyrgyz Committee for Human Rights Ramazan Dyryldaev, with arrest for
allegedly violating Article 233 of the Criminal Code, which prohibits
"destabilizing the social order." Res Publica was recently heavily
fined by the government and is forbidden from using the state printing
house.
 
"The Bolshevik-style tactics used by the authorities against civil
society and political opponents have no place in the community of
democracies to which Kyrgyzstan should belong, and these actions make
a mockery of the massive foreign assistance given to the country by
Western governments," stated Aaron Rhodes, Executive Director of the
International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF).
 
Similar accusations have been brought against Toletan Ismailova, the
leader of the Coalition of NGOs for Democracy and Civil Society, Giyaz
Tokombaev, Chairman of the Republican Party, Jypar Jeksheev, leader of
the Democratic Movement of Kyrgyzstan, and Daniyar Usenov, leader of
"El" Party.
 
Lidia Fomova, the leader of the NGO Association for the Protection of
the Population, has also been accused along with Dyryldaev and
Ismailova of organizing meetings and hunger strikes that are parts of
major protests sweeping the country because of the arrest of Felix
Kulov and other opposition leaders, in the context of recent
parliamentary elections.
 
The Kyrgyz government is continuing its efforts to manipulate and
destroy the work of the Kyrgyz Committee for Human Rights, an
affiliate of the IHF, which is partner in a European Union-funded
project aimed at constructive dialogue with the government on
improving human rights protections.  Most recently, a court forced the
Committee to reinstate as Deputy Chairman of the Committee Alexander
Eliseev, who was fired in 1997 for corruption, although the Labor Code
protects the rights of civil organizations to make such decisions.
 
The International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights is appealing to
the European Union and to the Austrian OSCE Chairperson to intervene
in these cases.
 
For more information:
Aaron Rhodes, Executive Director: +43-1-408 88 22 or 
+43-676-635 66 12 (mobile)
Ramazan Dyryldaev, Chair, Kyrgyz Committee for Human Rights:  
+996-312-66 25 15
 
__________________________________________________
International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights
Wickenburggasse 14/7
A-1080 VIENNA, AUSTRIA
Tel. +43-1-408 88 22
Fax  +43-1-408 88 22-50
E-mail: office@ihf-hr.org
Internet: http://www.ihf-hr.org

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