Kyrgyzstan: Supreme Court cuts prison terms of three opposition politicians

BISHKEK (TCA) — Kyrgyzstan’s Supreme Court has upheld the convictions of three opposition politicians in a high-profile case but reduced their prison sentences, RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service reported.

Under the June 7 decision, the prison terms of Bektur Asanov and Kubanychbek Kadyrov were shortened from 12 years to eight years, and Ernest Karybekov’s 20-year prison term was cut by six years.

The three were arrested in March 2016 after an audio recording that featured voices similar to theirs discussing ways to overthrow the government circulated on the Internet.

Asanov told RFE/RL before his arrest that the tapes had been doctored and that they were posted online in “an attempt to blackmail the opposition.”

The trio were charged with plotting to overthrow the government, and were convicted and sentenced in April 2017.

In April, a court in Bishkek found them guilty and sentenced Karybekov to 20 years in prison, while Kadyrov and Asanov received prison sentences of 12 years each.

The three started a hunger strike one after another between January 30 and February 1, demanding retrial and resignation of then State Committee of National Security chief Abdil Segizbaev.

In February, the Bishkek City Court upheld the sentences and the three were transferred from the State Committee for National Security’s detention center to a prison near Bishkek.

Sergey Kwan


Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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