Kyrgyzstan: protesters bring underwear to Kazakh embassy in protest over Kazakh documentary

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BISHKEK (TCA) — Activists rallied in front of Kazakhstan’s Embassy in Bishkek on November 30, protesting over a documentary about ousted former Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev, and left boxes full of underwear outside, RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service reported.

The protest came amid persistent tension between Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan over border-control issues and Kyrgyz allegations that Kazakhstan interfered in its presidential election in October.

The protesters, who numbered about a dozen, said that the film Peacekeeper’s Mission: Kyrgyz Ordeal, which was broadcast by Kazakh state channel Khabar on November 29 “distorts the meaning of the April 2010 revolution” that ousted Bakiev.

Bakiev fled the country after his ouster and lives in Belarus. He was sentenced in absentia to life in prison after being convicted by a court in Kyrgyzstan of involvement in the deaths of nearly 100 protesters during the unrest.

The documentary presents Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev as “a wise politician, who played a major role in the stabilization of Kyrgyzstan in 2010.”

The film also shows Bakiev giving his account of the upheaval, in which deadly violence broke out in Bishkek and later in his stronghold of southern Kyrgyzstan.

The protesters brought boxes of underwear to the embassy and said they were for Bakiev — a wry reference to the documentary, in which he says that he had to leave everything behind, even his underwear, when he fled Kyrgyzstan.

Sergey Kwan

TCA