Scramble for power enters second phase in Kyrgyzstan

The arrest of ex-president Atambayev didn't bring stability to Kyrgyzstan
The arrest of ex-president Atambayev didn't bring stability to Kyrgyzstan

Arrested ex-president of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev will remain in custody in a pre-trial detention center until August 26. This decision was made by the Bishkek City Court. A criminal case was also brought against his wife, Raisa Atambayeva. At the same time, the General Prosecutor of Kyrgyzstan published a list of Atambayev family's 120 properties seized by court: real estate, cars, bank accounts. His son Kadyr Atambayev described this list as "fake".

"The Prosecutor General’s Office is deliberately manipulate public opinion on the issue of the arrested property of my father Almazbek Atambayev and our relatives," Kadyrbek Atambayev said. He noted that the property attributed to his family members did not actually belong to them. Kadyrbek Atambayev regarded the information disseminated by the Prosecutor General as black PR of the authorities.

Meanwhile, Bishkek is braced for riots to be held from August 25 to September 13. This information is spread via SMS and WhatsApp. Parents are asked to be more attentive and not to let their children go to the city center. Also they offer to store supplies. The Ministry of Internal Affairs denies information about the unrest in the country. "The socio-political situation in our country is stable, there's no cause for alarm or concern. Law enforcement agencies are constantly working to ensure public order and the fight against crime," the press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs said. The ministry recalled that spreading false information entails criminal liability under the law.

Nevertheless, these dates were not chosen by chance. On August 26, a decision will be made whether Atambayev will be kept in custody or put under house arrest or be released on recognizance. He is charged with manipulations during the modernization of the Bishkek thermal power station, the release of criminal authority Aziz Batukaev, organizing mass riots and hostage-taking, use of violence against law enforcement officials, corruption, staging a coup d'etat and even killing of an Alpha group employee during the storming of his house in the Koy-Tash village. Head of the State Committee for National Security Orozbek Opumbayev said at a press conference in Bishkek: "Atambaev needed blood to stage a coup." However, a few days ago, after the murder of an Alpha officer, the investigation had another suspect - a former employee of the National Guard. He has already been detained.

Bishkek believes that Atabaev’s arrest will not be the end of it. The scramble for power has entered the second phase. The action takes place around Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Kursan Asanov. He negotiated with former president Atambayev and persuaded him to surrender to the authorities during a special operation in Koy-Tash. It would seem Asanov is a hero. Without extra shots he completed the special operation. But suddenly they opened a criminal case against him and removed him from office. He served as deputy head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs since April 2011 and was promoted to major general. After an official investigation Asanov was accused of betraying the police interests and losing confidence. His house was searched. The investigation is conducted by the Military Prosecutor's Office. The general was called for questioning. But it seems that he managed to escape, his whereabouts are unknown. Asanov made a statement on the same day, noting that "he was fulfilling his official duty and did not place personal interest above interests of the state."

In Bishkek, they say that Asanov allegedly played a double game - he worked on the Ministry of Internal Affairs and personally on Atambayev, because he owed him a lot, including his career growth. The Ministry of Internal Affairs wondered who was telling Atambayev about the police's plans.

According to head of the State Committee for National Security Orozbek Opumbaev, "some law enforcement officers transmitted operational information to Atambaev and his supporters, and received money in return." That is why the ex-president became aware of the plans to break into his house by force as early as July 19. Then Atambaev raised an informational noise, and the assault failed. A number of Kyrgyz media reported that it was Kursan Asanov who was suspected of transmitting the information.

Asanov did not know about the upcoming assault on the house in the village of Koy-Tash on August 7. However, it is difficult to call the operation unexpected. The security forces blocked the roads leading to Koy-Tash and drove special equipment and even grenade launchers to Atambaev’s house (then they were taken out), it was accompanied by helicopter overflights and grenade explosions. Special forces soldiers (according to various sources, there were 2000-6000 of them) surrounded the house. On the first day, the security forces could not capture Atambayev, but lost dozens of gun barrels, 6 their people were taken hostage, and only after crushing the house, injuring dozens of people, they completed the operation.

Kursan Asanov convinced Atambayev to surrender to the authorities, but Kyrgyz political analyst Mars Sariev told Vestnik Kavkaza that the general wasn't expected to do it. Asanov unexpectedly intervened in the operation by undertaking negotiations with Atambayev. A video recording of their conversation was made. Atambayev handed Asanov a package, which is also seen on video. They say that there were money and Atambayev family's valuables in this package. However, Atambaev’s lawyer Sergei Slyusarev said that it was a package with documents on the property of Atambaev’s family. The situation developed rapidly and not as planned. According to one version, Asanov was supposed to take Atambaev to the pre-trial detention center in his car, and on the way the ex-president should have been recaptured. However, Atambaev was put in another car and taken to Bishkek by a detour. According to the expert, Kyrgyzstan received the 'Colonel Khudoyberdyev' syndrome in the person of General Asanov. [Makhmud Khudoyberdyev, a rebel Tajik colonel, led three anti-government rebellions in Tajikistan. In November 1998, he actually managed to take control of most of the northern Leninabad region (Sughd Region now). After government troops recaptured the occupied territories, Khudoyberdyev took refuge in Uzbekistan. In 2001, he planned to capture Dushanbe, attracting Afghan Mujahideen to his side].

Deputy Alfiya Samigullina at a parliamentary meeting on August 15 announced the paid-for nature of Atambayev's arrest, the unauthorized decision to remove his immunity, as well as the unacceptable armed seizure of the ex-president. According to her, the Jogorku Kenesh Constitutional Chamber's confirmation on the lifting of immunity has not yet been made public. The deputy asked her colleagues if this even exists. However, colleagues could not give her an answer. There was an awkward pause. According to Alfiya Samigulova, even if Atambayev’s immunity status was withdrawn, the actions of the security forces against the former president and citizen of the country exceeded all conceivable standards. In her opinion, there should have been a police detachment, not a special forces detachment, especially since Atambayev was summoned as a witness and his guilt has not yet been proved. Deputy Samigullina asked her colleagues to evaluate the actions of the person who gave the order to storm Atambaev’s private property. "Why did the assault take place without President Sooronbay Jeenbekov's knowledge? Do we have democracy or anarchy in our country?" the deputy asked.

It turns out that President Jeenbekov was framed? The question is who did it. The answer may lie in a video published recently on YouTube in which so-called supporters of the president call on Muslims of Kyrgyzstan to support Sooronbay Jeenbekov, because he performs prayers five times a day and fights corruption. The authors of the video compared Kyrgyzstan with a sick child who does not understand that he needs medicine. This medicine should be religion (Islam).

According to Mars Sariev, Kyrgyzstan is being rocked not only in the North-South tribal vector, but also in the confessional one. "Someone is rocking the inter-religious situation in the country, rendering Jeenbekov a disservice. If the government relies on the Muslim part of society, then it will lose the secular part of the population, including its Russian-speaking part. Religious conflicts are the most severe," Sariev believes . According to the expert, someone's negative project is being implemented in Kyrgyzstan. "They already have a rebellious general - Asanov. They have a split on the North-South, as well as over a religious identity," Mars Sariev said.

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