Kyrgyz Protesters Storm Belarusian Embassy, Demand Bakievs' Extradition
August 28, 2012
by RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service
BISHKEK -- Scores of people stormed the Belarusian Embassy in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, demanding the immediate extradition from Belarus of former President Kurmanbek Bakiev and his brother Janysh.
Some protesters threw stones during the action, breaking embassy windows, and destroyed furniture.
The protesters are reported to include relatives of people who were killed during the 2010 antigovernment uprising that led to President Bakiev's ouster.
Belarusian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrey Savinykh said the Belarusian government has officially demanded that Kyrgyz authorities take action to ensure the safety of the Belarusian Embassy in Bishkek and to prevent provocations there.
Kyrgyzstan's Foreign Ministry on August 24 recalled its ambassador to Belarus after the Belarusian regime ignored a Kyrgyz request to extradite the former president’s brother, who was allegedly photographed in Minsk recently.
Minsk-based blogger Mikhail Pashkevich, who distributed the photo on the Internet, says he took the photo of a man looking like Janysh Bakiev in the Belarusian capital on August 17.
Kurmanbek Bakiev fled Kyrgyzstan in the wake of antigovernment protests in April 2010 and has been living in Belarus.
The ousted president, his brother Janysh Bakiev, and more than 20 former associates are currently being tried in absentia in Kyrgyzstan.
They are accused of either having fired upon or given the command to open fire on unarmed protesters in Bishkek during the antigovernment protests in April 2010 that led to Bakiev's ouster.
During the unrest, nearly 90 people were killed and some 400 wounded, of whom 12 subsequently died from their injuries.
Another brother of the former president, Akmat, was jailed in Kyrgyzstan in August 2011 for seven and a half years for crimes committed following his brother's ouster.
In March of this year, however, he disappeared from a hospital where he had been taken for reported pneumonia treatment; his current whereabouts are unknown.
Akmat Bakiev had been found guilty of organizing mass unrest and violent attacks on security officials, as well as extortion, illegal use of private land, and illegal procurement and possession of weapons.
He was also convicted of creating and participating in an illegal armed group during the clashes bertween ethnic Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in southern Kyrgyzstan in May and June 2010.
Those clashes left more than 400 people dead and thousands of others wounded or displaced from their homes.
With reporting by Interfax
Copyright (c) 2012. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|