• KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00210 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09404 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00210 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09404 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00210 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09404 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00210 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09404 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00210 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09404 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00210 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09404 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00210 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09404 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00210 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09404 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

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Kyrgyzstan’s President Apologizes Over Niece’s Use of State Helicopter

It was a fairytale setting for a marriage proposal. The fiancée of the niece of Kyrgyzstan’s president asked her to marry him after the pair traveled by helicopter to the mountains near Bishkek. The problem? The helicopter belonged to the Ministry of Emergency Situations, a revelation that prompted scorn on social networks and drew an apology from President Sadyr Japarov, who has campaigned against corruption. The ministry said the aircraft was “legally leased” and Japarov said the government sometimes rents its helicopters for the benefit of the state's coffers. But the ostentatious use of the government asset, flaunted in a slick video showing Japarov’s niece, Lazat Nurkozhoeva, in the helicopter, was too much for some commentators who fumed about alleged government hypocrisy. “Relatives of the country's leadership should be an example to others. I am trying to stop waste,” Japarov said in an interview with the official Kabar news agency on Wednesday. He said his niece, Lazat Nurkozhoeva and her fiancée loved each other and the proposal would have gone off without a hitch if it had been handled in a simpler way. “If an ordinary citizen, a businessman, a tourist, or an investor wants to rent helicopters, the state will gladly provide them. Because every penny received from the lease goes to the state and is concentrated on the purchase of new helicopters. Thus, the aircraft fleet is continuously updated,” Japarov said. The Kyrgyz government has a total of about 20 helicopters, he said. “I used to criticize others. Now it’s come back to me,” Japarov said in his apology. In a statement, the Ministry of Emergency Situations said the “rental of the helicopter discussed in social networks” was arranged with a legal contract and that it received the equivalent of about $1,800 for the flight that lasted 56 minutes and occurred on Monday. Lazat Nurkozhoeva has a high profile on social media. She has created her own clothing brand and won the Miss Kyrgyzstan beauty pageant in 2020.

Kyrgyzstan’s President Says Acquitted Protesters Deserved “At Least a Fine or Probation”

International rights groups welcomed the recent acquittal of more than 20 Kyrgyz activists and political figures who would have faced long jail sentences if convicted of plotting riots and other crimes, but Kyrgyzstan’s president says the defendants should have been fined or put on probation. President Sadyr Japarov commented about the case on Saturday in an interview with the official Kabar News Agency, one day after the activists were acquitted because of insufficient evidence. The activists were arrested in 2022 after protesting against a border demarcation agreement with Uzbekistan that involved the Kempir-Abad Dam and surrounding lands. “The court is a separate branch of government,” Japarov said. “I have been saying since the beginning that no one has the right to interfere in the work of the court. We must all obey the court's decision. We have no right to criticize whether it is legal or not. Whatever the court decides, whether it is right or wrong, we must agree.” Japarov continued: “But now, after the decision of the court, I can express my opinion. If I were a judge, I would give the organizers of this case some kind of punishment, at least a fine or probation.” The Kyrgyz president said the activists deserved a penalty because, in his view, they misled people into thinking that Kyrgyzstan was losing the entire dam in the border deal, when in fact it is being jointly managed with Uzbekistan. Prosecutors were seeking 20-year jail terms for the defendants. Several were also charged with trying to violently seize power. “We didn’t expect it, at all. We were crying from surprise,” Rita Karasartova, one of the accused activists said of the acquittal. She was quoted by Amnesty International, which described the charges as politically motivated. The prosecutions in the Kempir-Abad case fed into worries that Kyrgyzstan, under Japarov’s leadership, is walking back the relative freedoms that it has enjoyed in comparison to some of its Central Asian neighbors. Critics point to prosecutions of journalists and a new law that tightens control of foreign-funded non-governmental groups as signs of growing authoritarianism. Japarov has described some of the international criticism as an exercise in double standards and meddling in the country’s internal affairs.