Kyrgyzstan protests over Belarus media reports showing wanted ex-PM


BISHKEK (TCA) — Kyrgyzstan is demanding an explanation from Belarus following media reports that showed a man who looks like former Kyrgyz Prime Minister Daniyar Usenov, who was sentenced to life in prison after an in-absentia trial in Bishkek, and identified him as a Belarusian state agricultural corporation CEO named Daniil Uritski, RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service reported.

Usenov, along with ousted President Kurmanbek Bakiev and 24 other defendants, was sentenced in 2014 after being convicted of involvement in ordering a crackdown that led to the deaths of nearly 100 people who were killed when security forces fired on protesters during demonstrations against Bakiev in April 2010.

Belarusian media covering a groundbreaking ceremony at an agricultural facility showed a man identified as Uritski, chief of the Belarusian National Biotechnological Corporation, along with Belarus Deputy Prime Minister Mikhail Rusy and Agriculture Minister Leanid Zayats.

The Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry said on July 28 that it had summoned Belarusian Ambassador Syarhey Ivanov and handed him a protest note calling it “absolutely unacceptable” that Usenov, who was sentenced to life in prison in Kyrgyzstan, “is residing and conducting activities on the territory of Belarus.”

Usenov, Bakiev, and others fled Kyrgyzstan after the government’s ouster in 2010. Bakiev later appeared in Belarus, and Minsk has refused to extradite the former Kyrgyz president to Bishkek.

On July 30, Kyrgyz lawmaker Abdyvakhab Nurbaev told RFE/RL that the parliamentary committee on international relations, defense, and security will look into the new revelations regarding Usenov and his whereabouts once parliament returns from summer holidays.

Usenov’s ex-wife, lawmaker Dinara Isaeva, told RFE/RL on July 30 that she had not been in touch with her former husband for eight years but that she was confident that the man in the Belarusian reports was Usenov.

Sergey Kwan