Kyrgyz opposition politicians detained for alleged plan to overthrow government

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BISHKEK (TCA) — Kyrgyzstan’s authorities have detained three leading members of the People’s Parliament movement.

The State Committee for National Security said on May 12 that the three suspects had been charged with plotting to “forcibly overthrow the government”.  

A source close to law enforcement agencies in Bishkek and eyewitnesses told RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service that the suspects are the movement’s leader, Bekbolot Talgarbekov, and his associates Torobai Kolubaev and Marat Sultanov, who is a former judge of the Bishkek City Court.

The politicians were detained after police searched their homes following a session of the People’s Parliament in Bishkek on May 12.

At the meeting, the members of the movement publicly warned they would organize mass protests if President Almazbek Atambayev refuses to resign by May 17.

They also said that “Russia would support” them.

Late in March, the State Committee for National Security charged Kyrgyzstan’s former State Secretary Dastan Sarygulov with an attempt to seize power in the country.    

A district court in Bishkek placed Sarygulov under house arrest.

Earlier in March, three other politicians were detained for an attempt to seize power in Kyrgyzstan: former Governor of the Jalal-Abad province Bektur Asanov, leader of the Chyndyk party Kubanychbek Kadyrov, and opposition activist Ernest Karybekov.

Two audio recordings circulated on the Internet on March 21 and 22 that carried voices similar to those of the above opposition politicians discussing ways to seize power in Kyrgyzstan.

The State Committee for National Security later said that forensic studies revealed that the audio recordings had been found “authentic”.

One of the politicians involved, Bektur Asanov, confirmed to RFE/RL that such a discussion had taken place, but said the talks touched upon legal ways to hand over power to another government.

Sergey Kwan

TCA