• KGS/USD = 0.01150 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00222 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09386 0.64%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01150 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00222 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09386 0.64%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01150 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00222 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09386 0.64%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01150 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00222 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09386 0.64%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01150 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00222 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09386 0.64%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01150 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00222 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09386 0.64%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01150 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00222 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09386 0.64%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01150 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00222 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09386 0.64%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

Viewing results 1 - 6 of 5

Foreign Ministries of Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan Discuss Safety Amid More Raids on Foreign Citizens

The Deputy Foreign Minister of Kyrgyzstan, Almaz Imangaziev has met with a delegation from the Pakistani Foreign Ministry, led by Additional Secretary Muhammad Saleem. The meeting in Bishkek centered on addressing safety concerns following unrest on May 13, when medical students from Egypt were attacked, a video of which went viral. This then swelled into mass disorder on the night of May 17-18, when a crowd of approximately 1,000 protesters blocked several streets in the center of Bishkek. During the meeting, the Kyrgyz side provided detailed information regarding the recent conflagration, with Imangaziev assuring the Pakistani delegation that all necessary measures to ensure the safety of foreign citizens have been taken, and that comprehensive efforts are underway to prevent such incidents in the future. This meeting, however, came against the backdrop of the Bishkek Police and State National Security Committee carrying out more raids on foreign citizens, wherein 64 “illegal migrants” were rounded up. As part of a campaign launched in March, the authorities have deported some 1,500 Pakistanis and 1,000 Bangladeshis. The unrest in Bishkek has served to underscore splits within the government’s ranks. Deputy Cabinet Chairman, Edil Baisalov described those who attacked the foreign students as a “bunch of hooligans,” whilst President Japarov stated that the “demands of our patriotic youth to stop the illegal migration of foreign citizens and to take tough measures against those who allow such activities are certainly correct.”

Signs of Racism in Central Asia

By Bruce Pannier Incidents in May showed two Central Asian countries – Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan – are afflicted by racism that is tacitly or explicitly supported by their governments. Overnight on May 17-18, hundreds of young Kyrgyz men gathered in eastern Bishkek near a dormitory used by foreign students. The Kyrgyz men were angered by a video posted on popular Kyrgyz social media sites on the morning of May 17 that showed a fight in Bishkek on May 13 between a small group of Kyrgyz and foreigners. The foreigners in the fight on May 13 turned out to all be Egyptians, and they were all detained. However, some social media posts claimed at least some of the foreigners involved in the fight were Pakistanis. Many people from Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan come to Kyrgyzstan to study at universities, particularly at medical colleges. More than 90% of foreign students at Kyrgyz universities are from India and Pakistan. A smaller number, in the low thousands, are working there illegally. In March, Kyrgyz authorities launched a campaign to find and deport illegal migrant laborers some 1,500 Pakistanis and 1,000 Bangladeshis have been caught. There have been isolated incidents when Kyrgyz were involved in physical altercations with South Asians in recent years, but nothing on scale of what happened in May 17-18. Besides bursting into the dormitory and assaulting foreign students, a group of some 60-70 Kyrgyz men broke into a sewing factory in Bishkek early morning May 18 and attacked foreign workers, who mostly from Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan. At least 41 people were injured, most of them South Asians. Pakistan in particular reacted, summoning the Kyrgyz Charge d'Affaires in Islamabad while a group of Pakistanis protested outside the Kyrgyz Embassy. Pakistani authorities also sent charter flights to Kyrgyzstan that brought back more than 1,000 Pakistani citizens. Kyrgyz authorities criticized the police for failing to calm the situation before it went out of control and later 10 policemen were sacked. Deputy Cabinet Chairman Edil Baisalov went to the dormitory to meet with some of the foreign students and apologize for the harm done to them “by a bunch of hooligans.” The top two people in the government – President Sadyr Japarov and head of security service Kamchybek Tashiyev – were more equivocal in their comments on the violence. Since coming to power in late 2020, Japarov and his longtime friend Tashiyev have promoted nationalist policies. Their emphasis on respecting Kyrgyz traditions and customs has gained them significant popularity in Kyrgyzstan. They need such support in a country that has had three revolutions since 2005, including the October 2020 revolution that resulted in them occupying their current positions. Young Kyrgyz men, like the hundreds who gathered on the evening of May 17, are an important pillar of support for Japarov and Tashiyev. President Japarov vaguely blamed “forces interested in aggravating the situation,” and added, “The demands of our patriotic youth to stop the illegal migration of foreign citizens and take tough measures against those...

Arrest Made in Connection with Bishkek Unrest

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kyrgyzstan has announced the detention and opening of a criminal case against a man suspected of beating foreigners during unrest which occurred on the night of May 18, leaving 41 people hospitalized. The suspect also allegedly transported people to places where foreigners lived during the events which transpired in the Kyrgyz capital. On May 18, 2024, a video showing the beating of foreign citizens began circulating on social media. The footage revealed an unidentified man of Asian descent, approximately 20-25 years old, wearing a beige hooded sweater, striking victims with his hands and feet on their faces and other body parts. The incident took place after four individuals broke into a house near the Dordoi Market. The accused assailant was identified on surveillance cameras located in the vicinity. “Four attackers arrived in a dark-colored Mercedes-Benz Sprinter on May 18 at 04:00 am.,” the Ministry’s statement reads. Investigations revealed that it is “registered to a resident of the Issyk-Kul region. The driver of the said car was Zhekshenbekov Azat, born in 1999, a native of the Issyk-Kul region, living in Bishkek, and an employee of a furniture workshop. The detainee was placed in the temporary detention center of the Bishkek City Internal Affairs Directorate.” The investigation is ongoing, with the authorities seeking to identify and apprehend the others involved. On Monday, President Japarov promised swift action should the events be repeated, sating that “Anyone, whether he is our citizen or a foreign citizen, who threatens the integrity of our state, organizes chaos, will be punished mercilessly.”

Kyrgyzstan’s President Warns of Swift Crackdown If Unrest Flares Again

President Sadyr Japarov of Kyrgyzstan on Monday has addressed the nation about recent unrest and anti-foreigner sentiment, saying “our hot-blooded youth” were led astray by inflammatory internet posts and warning of a crackdown if it happens again. Japarov spoke after a week of tension in Bishkek that began with a fight between local and foreign people at a hostel on May 13 and culminated with large crowds of angry Kyrgyz youths roaming intersections on the night of May 17-18. There were scattered attacks on foreigners, whose population includes students and workers from Egypt, Pakistan and other countries. Some people were hospitalized. Riot police were on standby as officials negotiated with the crowds and persuaded them to disperse peacefully. “Now, if such an event happens again, then the law enforcement agencies will switch to the method of dispersal by force from the first minutes. Thank God, now the power structures are not as weak as they used to be,” Japarov said. “Anyone, whether he is our citizen or a foreign citizen, who threatens the integrity of our state, organizes chaos, will be punished mercilessly.” Japarov said the demands of Kyrgyz youth for tough action against illegal migration were “certainly correct” and that the government had taken steps to address the problem. But he chastised those who were “led by the temptations of provocateurs” seeking to spread chaos. The president referred to “bloggers” trying to foment a “large-scale uprising in the crowd,” though he did not offer more details on the alleged agitators. Kyrgyzstan has experienced periodic unrest on a much bigger scale over the years, and three presidents have been ousted by uprisings since 2005. Japarov, who had been in exile and in prison, came to power in 2021 after being freed by supporters whose protests against a disputed election toppled the previous government. The Central Asian country had been known for a lively media scene and other relative freedoms in a region with authoritarian traditions. Japarov has rolled back some of those rights, tightening control over foreign funded non-governmental organizations despite international concerns and increasing pressure on some media critical of the government. Japarov said law enforcement officials arrested “the perpetrators” of the May 13 brawl and appealed to the country to consider the damage that the unrest of the last week can do to tourism and the economy, as well as the nation’s interaction with the world. He noted that more than one million Kyrgyz citizens live abroad (the total population is about seven million), and that the number of working migrants in Kyrgyzstan is 5,322 people and foreign students number 42,620. “We should be happy about that,” he said.

An Uneasy Calm After Unrest in Bishkek

On the night of May 18, riots took place in Bishkek. The reason - a fight between foreign medical students and local youth. The trigger was a video of a scuffle, which occurred on May 13, when Egyptian citizens beat several locals. This video was then widely circulated on social networks. Local politicians have stated that they believe the situation was fueled from the outside.   What happened? On the night of May 18, protesters blocked several streets in the center of Bishkek. According to the Interior Ministry, the number of people continued to grow, and there was a threat of mass disorder, so all personnel from the capital's police were placed on alert. All hostels and dormitories in the city where foreign citizens live were put under guard. The protesters expressed dissatisfaction with the large number of migrants coming into the country from Egypt, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh. The head of Kyrgyzstan's National Security Committee said law enforcement agencies detained several provocateurs who were calling for the overthrow of the government. By morning, the participants in the unauthorized rally had been dispersed. In total, about 1,000 people took part in the unrest, according to the capital's police. Law enforcement urged citizens not to give in to provocations and show a high-level of civil responsibility. The Ministry of Health of the Kyrgyz Republic reported that following the incident, 41 people sought medical assistance in Bishkek. Four Egyptians were detained - local media claim they were participants in the conflict that took place on May 13. Later, it became known that some Kyrgyz citizens had also been detained. The confrontation between local residents and foreigners has acquired an international dimension, with a number of government agencies in neighboring countries expressing their concern. For example, Kazakhstan introduced a special regime on the border with Kyrgyzstan. The authorities in Pakistan, meanwhile, have organized emergency flights, and a number of their students and workers are leaving Kyrgyzstan. Several thousand students from India, Pakistan, Egypt, Bangladesh and Nepal study at Bishkek's medical institutes. There are also migrant workers from these countries living in the country, who are mainly employed in the production of garments.   Who benefits from the unrest? According to deputy Dastan Bekeshev of the Jokorku Kenesh, the unrest is an attempt to find the authorities' vulnerabilities. "One of the indicators of economic growth is when citizens of the country hire foreign citizens as workers. And there is no way for us to avoid conflicts with foreign citizens. Conflicts are also arranged by our own citizens abroad. Of course, guests should not forget that they are guests and must coexist peacefully with the citizens of the country they are in. But we should also learn tolerance and wisdom when various conflicts occur. There are law enforcement agencies and they have every opportunity to punish a foreigner and expel him from Kyrgyzstan for a long time. Our laws on external migration are very strict," the parliamentarian wrote on his Telegram channel. The MP said...

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