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Rally Outside Belarus Embassy In Bishkek Demands Bakievs' Extradition

  • RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service

BISHKEK -- Dozens of protesters rallied outside the Belarusian Embassy in Bishkek, demanding the extradition of former President Kurmanbek Bakiev and his brother Janysh.

Protesters at the February 27 demonstration held placards reading: "Bakievs Are Murderers" and "Belarus, Do Not Give Shelter to Criminals!"

Embassy personnel would not come out so the group handed a petition demanding the Bakievs' extradition to the embassy security service.

On February 27, President Almazbek Atambaev issued a highly emotional statement, urging Belarus authorities to extradite the Bakiev brothers, calling them "villains" of the "bestial and cannibalistic nature."

Kyrgyzstan's Foreign Ministry said separately on February 26 that a witness in a killing of Kyrgyz crime boss Almambet Anapiyaev, who was found dead in Minsk last week, told Kyrgyz investigators Anapiyaev met with Janysh Bakiev the day he died.

Kurmanbek and Janysh Bakiev were sentenced to life in prison in absentia after being convicted of involvement in the killing of protesters during the uprising that ousted Kurmanbek Bakiev in 2010.

Janysh headed the state bodyguards’ service at the time.

Both have resided in Belarus since then. Minsk has rejected previous requests for their extradition.