Police Officers in Bishkek Fired Over Mob Conflict with Foreign Students

The police guard Chuy Ave in Bishkek; image: TCA

The Kyrgyz Interior Minister and various heads of district police departments, whose duties include ensuring law and order in Bishkek, attended a meeting to discuss the recent mob conflict with foreign-students, wherein the Interior Ministry board of directors and staff members received disciplinary citations.

The head of the Interior Ministry’s Internal Investigation Service, Zholboldu Kochkonov, briefed law enforcers on the results of an internal investigation which was conducted following the events of May 13th and 17th, when foreign students and workers were beaten, and violent scenes erupted on the streets and in several Bishkek hostels.

“A total of 20 employees have been brought to disciplinary responsibility. Of them, 10 employees of the Bishkek Sverdlovsk District Department of Internal Affairs, including the head of the unit, have been relieved of their posts,” Kochkonov stated following the meeting.

According to the head of the Internal Investigation Service, an additional 10 employees of the Bishkek City Main Department and the Sverdlovsk District Department of Internal Affairs were given various types of disciplinary penalties. Kochkonov said that an investigation was launched into the officers’ failure after the May 13th fight, and it was due to their inaction that the conflict escalated into the large-scale riots seen on May 17th.

As TCA reported, on May 13th, a fight between local youths and foreign students took place in a hostel in Bishkek. Four days later, a rally and riots occurred in the center of the city in which around a thousand people participated. More than 40 people were hospitalized.

Following the unrest, President Japarov promised swift action should the events be repeated, stating that, “Anyone, whether he is our citizen or a foreign citizen, who threatens the integrity of our state, organizes chaos, will be punished mercilessly.”

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Times of Central Asia