Arrest Made in Connection with Bishkek Unrest

The alleged suspect captured on video; image: mvd.gov.kg

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kyrgyzstan has announced the detention and opening of a criminal case against a man suspected of beating foreigners during unrest which occurred on the night of May 18, leaving 41 people hospitalized. The suspect also allegedly transported people to places where foreigners lived during the events which transpired in the Kyrgyz capital.

On May 18, 2024, a video showing the beating of foreign citizens began circulating on social media. The footage revealed an unidentified man of Asian descent, approximately 20-25 years old, wearing a beige hooded sweater, striking victims with his hands and feet on their faces and other body parts. The incident took place after four individuals broke into a house near the Dordoi Market.

The accused assailant was identified on surveillance cameras located in the vicinity. “Four attackers arrived in a dark-colored Mercedes-Benz Sprinter on May 18 at 04:00 am.,” the Ministry’s statement reads. Investigations revealed that it is “registered to a resident of the Issyk-Kul region. The driver of the said car was Zhekshenbekov Azat, born in 1999, a native of the Issyk-Kul region, living in Bishkek, and an employee of a furniture workshop. The detainee was placed in the temporary detention center of the Bishkek City Internal Affairs Directorate.”

The investigation is ongoing, with the authorities seeking to identify and apprehend the others involved. On Monday, President Japarov promised swift action should the events be repeated, sating that “Anyone, whether he is our citizen or a foreign citizen, who threatens the integrity of our state, organizes chaos, will be punished mercilessly.”

Stephen M. Bland

Stephen M. Bland

 Stephen M. Bland is a journalist, author, editor, commentator and researcher specialising in Central Asia and the Caucasus. Prior to joining The Times of Central Asia, he has worked for NGOs, think tanks, as the Central Asia expert on a forthcoming documentary series, for the BBC, The Diplomat, EurasiaNet, and numerous other publications.
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Published in 2016, his book on Central Asia was the winner of the Golden Laureate of Eurasian Literature. He is currently putting the finishing touches to a book about the Caucasus.
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www.stephenmbland.com

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