03/04/2020, 11.14
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Failed coup attempt in Bishkek

The demonstration in Ala-Too square had started with 2 thousand people demanding the release of a jailed deputy . Government accused of collusion with foreign investors bent on the exploitation of the country's natural resources. Protesters from other regions come together. All available law enforcement agencies mobilised.

Bishkek (AsiaNews) - A demonstration calling for the release of ex-deputy Sadyr Japarov was organized on March 2 in the Kyrgyz capital. The rally - which was attended by over 2 thousand people - ended with strong clashes between demonstrators and the police, following which 166 people were detained and 4 arrested. In addition to Japarov's release, the protesters presented a list of 20 requests to the authorities, effectively calling for regime change and free elections.

The center of Bishkek is controlled by the army with armored vehicles, tear gas and water cannons to disperse the rallies, and above all to avoid the assault on the White House, seat of the Kyrgyz government. The demonstration in Ala-Too square (see photo) had started with the cry "Freedom for Japarov!", And according to one of the organizers, the deputy Kanybek Osmonaliev, "after Japarov's release the movement in support of him will be dissolved" . He recalled that supporters of the ex-deputy appealed to President Sooronbai Jeenbekov many times without receiving an answer, and therefore decided to take to the streets.

Sadyr Japarov was arrested in 2017 and sentenced to 11 years and 6 months in a lobor camp for organizing a rally in Karakol in 2013, and also taking a person hostage. The sentence was reduced to 10 years by the Kyrgyz Supreme Court, and the request for pardon was rejected by President Jeenbekov.

The protesters asked for a personal meeting with the president, but could only speak with a presidential official, Sajakbaj Subanov, who explained that a special commission is at work on the Japarov issue, and conclusions are expected in days. The crowd did not accept the explanation, despite the appeals for moderation from Japarov himself, published on social media by his lawyer. He himself said he "fears the provocateurs", which could lead to extreme consequences.

In fact, the demonstration soon turned into an attempted coup d'etat, with the request to hold new and free elections within the year, to subject the institutions to population control, starting with the government's resignation en masse. The initiative was taken by the ex-speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Murak Chollonbaev, who accused the government of collusion with foreign investors interested in exploiting the country's natural resources.

Protesters from other regions of the country were added to the inhabitants of Bishkek, through appeals published on social networks. Law enforcement officers in turn summoned all available forces, including 2,000 sportsmen enlisted as an order service. The protesters are unlikely to overthrow the government and carry out a real coup d'état, also due to the intolerance of the majority of the population for the constant unrest, but new demonstrations are expected in the coming weeks. (V.R.)

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