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Kyrgyz Report: December 4, 2000


4 December 2000

THOSE GIVEN AMNESTY DID NOT ASK FOR AMNESTY.
None of the six men given amnesty by the Kyrgyz president on 30 November has been released yet, because the amnesty has not been announced officially. President Askar Akayev signed on Thursday a special decree giving amnesty to Kojokmat Akimbaev, Kubanychbek Jalikulov, Akimjan Jalilov, Ismail Muratov, Mamadiyar Orozov and Raiymjan Sarykov. They were convicted of preparing a plot last year to assassinate Akayev.

However, Suranchy Sharsheev and Sagynbek Ashyrbekov, lawyers for Akimbaev and Muratov, told RFE/RL correspondent in Bishkek on 1 December that neither Akimbaev nor Muratov had submitted a petition to the president asking for amnesty, because they have not admitted to their guilt. Opposition leader Topchubek Turgunaliev, who was named an ideological leader of a criminal group and sentenced to 6 years of jail, also did not ask for amnesty and his name was not mentioned in the presidential decree.

According to the lawyers, they had already appealed to the Supreme Court and will demand a full acquittal for their clients.

A district court of Bishkek sentenced the seven men to long term imprisonment in September. The Bishkek City Court ruled on 24 November to reduce their sentences by more than a half. All the accusations were based on the testimony of a single person, Timur Stamkulov only. He told the court in August that he had organized the group according to instructions from security officials.

THE DELO NOMER... PAPER IS PARTLY ACQUITTED.
Chief editor of the independent "Delo Nomer..." weekly Victor Zapolsky told RFE/RL correspondent in Bishkek that the Pervomai district court of Bishkek ruled on 1 December that the libel accusations against the paper by Deputy Security Minister Boris Poluektov are groundless. Poluectov filed two separate suits against the paper, accusing it of label and insulting him in an article published on 12 April 2000. The suit on label has now been dropped. The trial began in October. According to Zapolsky, a date of the second trial on the insult has not been set yet.

There is also another legal case against the paper. The Ministry of National Security charged Zapolsky and corespondent Vadim Nochevkin on 29 November with Clause 300 of the Criminal Code - divulgence of state secrets - for materials in an article Nochevkin published on 26 July 2000.

The author of both articles was Nochevkin and the both of them were aboutthe trial against Felix Kulov, former Kyrgyz vice president. He was accused of power abuse, arrested on 22 March, tried in June-July and acquitted on 7 August.

'NEW YORK TIMES' ON SITUATION ON KYRGYZ-UZBEK BORDERS.
The New York Times published on 30 November an article on problems along the Kyrgyz-Uzbek state border. It said that "...in response to insurgent threats and smuggling, Uzbekistan has tightened its borders with Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, putting up miles of barbed-wire fence along its southern flank and planting land mines at dozens of timeworn crossing points. The toll so far is at least 20 deaths from mines and shootings by border guards, countless cattle killed and deeper economic woes for millions of people already facing desperate poverty." And "even a small incident could escalate into violence that would destabilize the region and jeopardize the delicate and difficult transition to democracy under way in these former Soviet republics."

CIS SUMMIT IN MINSK.
President Askar Akayev took part on 1 December in the CIS summit in Minsk. Financing of a CIS counter-terrorism center was discussed. Uzbek president Islam Karimov said it was a routine issue, which could be resolved at lower levels. He suggested to resolve the problem of setting up a free-trade zone in the CIS. Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbaev said that the center has not done anything in five months after its formation and suggested establishing branch offices in every Central Asian country. Akayev said the counter-terror center should be engaged more in preventing terrorism rather than in fighting against terrorism.

US CONGRESSMEN WILL NOT ATTEND AKAYEV'S INAUGURATION.
According to the presidential press service, some US congressmen, invited to the inauguration ceremony of President Askar Akayev, replied they couldn't come to Kyrgyzstan due to events in the US. The ceremony is scheduled for 9 December. US leaders have not yet congratulated Akayev after his reelection for a third presidential term on 29 October. The US State Department supported the reports by the OSCE and US National Democratic Institute missions on the election which criticized Kyrgyz authorities severely.

WEB SITE ON KYRGYZ ECONOMICS.
The Kyrgyz State Commission on Foreign Investments has opened its special web-site on economic developments in Kyrgyzstan. According to the commission, about 1,500 users visit the site daily. The World Bank allotted $50,000 for it. Its address is: http://www.kyrgyzinvest.org.

EBRD DELEGATION IN BISHKEK.
Chairman of the National Bank, Ulan Sarbanov received in Bishkek on 1 December a delegation of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The EBRD agreed to give more support to reconstruction of the financial sector, development of commercial banks and small businesses in Kyrgyzstan.

WB PREPARES A REGIONAL PROJECT ON WATER SUPPLY.
A special seminar on supplying residents of the Talas Province with drinkable water ended on 1 December in Talas. Experts of the World Bank participated, and the WB dcided to give money in 2001 for a new project, according to which water pipes would be constructed to the 10 villages of the province. Currently, only 23 out of about 100 villages in province have water supply systems.

CENTRAL ASIAN SEMINAR ON MIGRATION ENDS.
A 5-day seminar on demography, migration processes, border issues, and migrant workers in Central Asia ended in Bishkek on 1 December. Representatives of the border guarding and migration bodies of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan participated.

AIDS DAY MARKED IN KYRGYZSTAN.
Kyrgyzstan marked on 1 December the International Day against AIDS. According to the director of the AIDS Center in Bishkek, Boris Shapiro, there are now 49 people in the country infected with Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV) and 12 of them are Kyrgyz citizens. The youth of the Jalal-Abad Province held on 1 December a special action "To the 21st Century without AIDS" and burnt up an AIDS scarecrow.

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