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Kyrgyz Report: December 8, 2000


8 December 2000

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH RELEASES A NEW WORLD REPORT.
On the eve of International Human Rights Day marked on 10 December, the New York based Human Rights Watch released a new annual report on human rights situation in the world in 2000. In the part devoted to Kyrgyzstan the report says that "in 2000, President Askar Akaev's actions shattered the illusion of Kyrgyzstan as an "island of democracy" in a repressive region ... In elections to the parliament in February and March 2000, and for president on October 29, 2000, the government blatantly violated citizens' rights ... The boldness with which the Kyrgyz government attacked Akaev's potential presidential rivals, including former vice president Gen. Felix Kulov, shocked even the most jaded observers ... Long-time political activist, human rights defender, and founder of Kyrgyzstan's nongovernmental Guild of Prisoners of Conscience Topchubek TurgunAliyev was convicted in August of plotting an attempt on President Akaev's life and overthrow of the state's constitutional system."

"Independent newspapers' vigorous reporting during the election spawned an intense government backlash ... The government of Kyrgyzstan also engaged in Internet censorship, shutting down the independent news site "Politika KG" from late August until October 29, the date of the presidential elections ... The Kyrgyz Committee for Human Rights (KCHR) and its chairman, Ramazan Dyryldaev, faced increasingly serious harassment, as state officials attempted to confiscate the group's property, after court decisions revoked its registration. Facing arrest on criminal charges in late July, Dyryldaev, his son, and one other KCHR activist fled the country."

SEMINAR ON FUTURE DEVELOPMENT OF KYRGYZSTAN.
A seminar on plans of economic developments in Kyrgyzstan in 2001-2010 was held in Bishkek on 8 December. President Askar Akayev and Prime Minister Amangeldi MurAliyev attended. Akayev said in his address to the seminar that the Kyrgyz leadership could not achieve all the economic aims defined 10 years ago and emphasized that now the government "must eradicate corruption" and fight against bureaucracy. MurAliyev said that according to a complex program of development, which is being worked out now, the real income of Kyrgyz citizens would be doubled in ten years and the gross domestic product of the country should be increased by 6 to 8 percent yearly.

Some participants of the seminar complained that local and some non-governmental organizations did not participate in discussions on the complex program. MurAliyev answered that the program would be discussed nationwide in January-March.

US STATE SECRETARY CONGRATULATES KYRGYZ PRESIDENT.
According to the presidential press service, President Askar Akayev received telegram of congratulations from US State Secretary Madeleine Albright on the eve of his inauguration. Akayev was elected president for the third term on 29 October, and the inauguration ceremony will be held in parliament on 9 December.

International observers criticized the Kyrgyz leadership saying that the elections were not up to democratic standards, and US officials have not congratulated Akayev before. The constitution forbids a third term for president. Akayev was elected president in 1990, 1991 and 1995, but the Constitutional Court ruled in 1998 that Akayev could be elected again because the new constitution was adopted in 1993.

TURKISH COMPANY WILL CONTINUE ITS ACTIVITIES IN BISHKEK.
The governmental press service announced in Bishkek on 8 December that the government allowed the Turkish "Impash Holding" to continue constructing a hotel and a hypermarket in Bishkek. But, according to a governmental decree, the company has to pay compensation to Bishkek residents who would have to be moved to new places due to construction. And the value of the Instrumentalshchik Stadium, which would be demolished due to the new construction would be stated at the market price, and the company would have to compensate for that too.

The government canceled on 18 October an agreement between the Impash Holding and the Kyrgyz Interior Ministry and the Bishkek City administration on giving the Turkish company a plot of land in Bishkek. The company received a 23,500-hectare plot in Bishkek paying for it $200,000 only. It has already spent about $3 million for construction and promises to invest more than $100 million in Kyrgyzstan in the nearest future.

UNESCO CENTER HOLDS A SEMINAR FOR JOURNALISTS.
According to Chairwoman of the UNESCO Commission in Kyrgyzstan Adash Toktosunova, the UNESCO Center in Bishkek will organize a seminar for Kyrgyz and Tajik journalists on 11-15 December. The main theme of the discussion will be "Information and Publicism in the Transition Period". Regional journalists from the two countries are mostly invited.

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