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Kyrgyz Report: November 28, 2000


28 November 2000

TWO KYRGYZ CITIZENS ABDUCTED BY UZBEK SECURITY SERVICES.
According to the Kyrgyz Committee for Human Rights, two Kyrgyz citizens were abducted by Uzbek security officials on Kyrgyz territory on 4 October. Sultan Sharmatov and Sadybakas Madimarov are still in detention in Uzbekistan being accused of theft and beaten severely every day. The father of Sharmatov, Sharmat Kuluev, is trying to organize local people to release his son by force, because Kyrgyz authorities have not replied to his letters. He sent letters to President Askar Akayev and other high officials in October. The Kyrgyz government has not yet taken any action on it.

However, the Geneva based World Organization against Torture sent on 24 November a letter to Uzbek President Islam Karimov demanding the release of the abducted persons.

MEETING OF PEOPLE WORKING IN KAZAKHSTAN.
About 20 young people, who were wage workers in neighboring Kazakhstan, organized a meeting in Bishkek on 28 November. The meeting was held in the open air on the Molodaya Gwardia Boulevard. According to one of the participants, Kazybek Sabirov, there are about 40,000 Kyrgyz citizens working on tobacco plantations in the three districts of Almaty Province, and they are treated as real slaves. The authorities claimed that they have earned nothing in several months, and are now keeping some people hostage. It was decided at the meeting to write protest letters to presidents Askar Akayev of Kyrgyzstan and Nursultan Nazarbaev of Kazakhstan.Director of the State Agency on Demography and Migration, Cholponkul Arabaev told RFE/RL correspondent in Bishkek on 28 November that the problem would be discussed in Kazakhstan this week. CIS officials for labor and social affairs are gathering in Astana on 30 November - 1 December for their 12th meeting. Kyrgyzstan will be represented by Arabaev and the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, Imankadyr Rysaliev.

PICKET IN JALAL-ABAD STOPPED TEMPORARILY.
A protest picket in Jalal-Abad lasting for 40 days was stopped temporarily last Saturday. Ten to fifteen people stayed on the picket in front of the region administration every day from 16 October till 25 November demanding to acquit and release seven men convicted of preparing last year a plot to assassinate President Askar Akayev. The protesters say they would resume the picket on the eve of a meeting of the Supreme Court, which should consider the appeals by the convicted.

The seven were sentenced by a district court on 1 September to jail terms from 14 to 17 years. The Bishkek City Court softened the verdicts on 24 November, reducing the terms to 4 to 6 years. Prominent opposition politician Topchubek TurgunAliyev is among those convicted.

INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATION ON KYRGYZ ELECTIONS.
The Paris based International Federation for Human Rights (IFHR) together with the Kyrgyz Committee for Human Rights has released a note on the last presidential elections, held in Kyrgyzstan on 29 October. According to note, the opposition candidates were oppressed during the election campaign and the results were forged. The note calls for Kyrgyz authorities to stop the persecution of opposition politicians and human rights activists. It also says that the international community, especially the European Union, should demand that Kyrgyz authorities fulfill their commitments. IFHR representative to the European Parliament also wrote a letter to members of Europarliament regarding this.

The IFHR also sent an open letter to the Ministerial Council of the OSCE, held in Vienna on 27-28 November. Among other items, the Council is discussing security and social problems of Central Asian states as well as results of the last presidential elections in Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Muratbek ImanAliyev is attending the meeting.

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR ON ISLAMIC REBELS IN CENTRAL ASIA.
The US Christian Science Monitor on 28 November published an article on insurgency of Islamic rebels into Kyrgyzstan in 1999 and 2000. It is entitled "Central Asia's Islamist Crucible" and it says that "for many from Moscow to Washington, the insurgency may appear to confirm theories that militant Islam is on the march in Central Asia, fueled by victories of the radical Taliban in Afghanistan. But analysts are divided over the significance of any Islamic 'threat' to the region - and even how 'Islamic' the guerrillas may be. Also unclear is the scale of home-grown support for the rebels."

SEMINAR ON MIGRATION IN CENTRAL ASIA.
A 5-day seminar on migration processes is being held in Bishkek. Representatives of the border guard and migration bodies of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are participating in it.

NEW DEPUTY OF PARLIAMENT ELECTED.
The Central Election Commission approved on 28 November the authority of Mahmud Kuchukov, elected deputy of the parliamentary Legislative Assembly three weeks ago. A run-off election for a vacant seat was held in the University (#1) constituency in Bishkek on 12 October and the pro-rector of the National University, Kuchukov collected 68 percent of the votes. The seat became vacant after deputy Erkinbek Matyev was killed in an air crash on 15 March, just three days after the parliamentary election.

Kuchukov became the 59th deputy in the 60-seat Assembly. The 60th deputy, Bakyt Kerimbekov is in trouble now. The Central Election Commission (CEC) deprived him of his deputy authority on 18 October, and a new run-off election in the Issyk-Kul (#17) constituency could be held soon. The Supreme Court upheld the decision by CEC. Kerimbekov was elected deputy on 16 April and received a deputy mandate on 4 May. Now the Constitutional Court should take a decision on a Kerimbekov's appeal.

THREE FISHERMEN MISSING FOR 12 DAYS.


Three fishermen from the Tyup district of Issyk-Kul Province have now been missing for 12 days. 22-year-old Erkinbek Eshaliev, 21-year-old Nurbek Janybaev and 33-year-old Oleg Drozdin went missing while fishing on Issyk-Kul Lake in the evening of 16 November. Their empty boat was found only on 27 November. According to head of the Tyup administration Erkinbek Kenenbaev, the search began on 17 November.

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