Women's rally in Kyrgyzstan

Women's rally in Kyrgyzstan

A march of solidarity against violence took place near the Urkuya Salieva monument in Bishkek. The women gathered in the square declared equality and protection of their rights. Ex-president Roza Otunbayeva, leader of the Ar-Namys party Felix Kulov and other politicians came to support the action. They criticized the dispersal of the women's solidarity march on Victory Square on March 8.

Roza Otunbayeva stated that the Minister of Internal Affairs should resign. "We have been creating a democratic image of the republic for decades. But at one point, they spilled it out of the bucket. We were on the front pages of world's publications. The dispersal of a women's rally is a shame. The Minister of Internal Affairs must voluntarily resign. Every worthy minister must resign after he embarrassed the country in front of the whole world. If he doesn’t do this, then there is authorities. There are deputies who decide the fate of such ministers. Therefore, everyone should draw a conclusion from this. There have been April 7 and March 24 dates. Can one at least turn back and understand the lessons?" Otunbayeva said. According to her, more people were supposed to join the action, but they were afraid.

From the first days of independence, Kyrgyzstan has been open to democratic change. Under first president Askar Akayev's rule, the republic was called the "island of democracy" in Central Asia. But imperceptibly, Kyrgyzstan went off the democratic tracks, embarking on the path of authoritarianism. The current government, getting rid of the political opposition, gave the command to stop even the women's march on March 8. By the way, such demonstrations took place around the world. As Kyrgyz parliamentarian Dastan Bekeshev noted, "solidarity actions took place all over the planet, from Chile and Mexico to Iraq and Russia, but there was a shameful event in Bishkek - the dispersal of a peaceful march, moreover, women — both adults and very young girls — were dispersed."

Last Sunday, representatives of women's social movements Bishkek Feminist Initiatives and 8/365 organized an march against domestic violence on Victory Square. They intended to march from Victory Square to the Opera and Ballet Theater. However, even before the start of the rally, members of the Kirk-Choro nationalist movement in national caps (ak-kalpak) and masks broke through to the activists, considering their actions inappropriate. Flowers, banners and balloons held by women were taken away and trampled by Kyrgyz nationalists. Women were injured.

The police, as can be seen in the numerous videos posted on Facebook, not only did not intervene, but, on the contrary, detained about 60 protesters. Six activists were fined "for disobedience to the police." Only on March 10, after the dispersal of the rally got a wide response, leader of the Kyrk Choro movement Zamir Kochorbaev was fined 3,000 thousand soms (about 3,000 rubles).

The leader of the Ar-Namys party, General Felix Kulov, suspects that the police acted in conjunction with the Kyrk Choro movement. "The members of this group were not detained, innocent women were detained instead. Hence the conclusion, they acted in concert. Otherwise, the police must find these provocateurs and show the country who these people are. I am convinced that most of them did not even know that they 'protect'. They were sent to disperse the rally, like rams at a slaughterhouse," Kulov noted.

Chairman of the Committee for the Protection of Freedom of Speech Adil Turdukulov believes that members of the nationalist Kyrk Choro movement are affiliated with the police. Sunday's rally of intimidation was not the first one. "Such actions was used against Chinese companies working in Kyrgyzstan, raids were also carried out in other foreign companies, actions were organized against national minorities, which we have a lot in our country. Where the Ministry of Internal Affairs cannot legally use force, this group is used, Adil Turdukulov told Vestnik Kavkaza. In his opinion, Bishkek is confident that the Kyrk Choro movement's massacre addressed an ominous hint to the political forces preparing for the parliamentary elections in October and sketching out a strategy, which may involve rallies as well.

The violent disruption of the peace demonstration took place against the backdrop of officials' statements that "the authorities' efforts are aimed at ensuring that women are confident in their future." The government understands that the increase in cases of domestic violence in the country is over the top. "The flagrant acts of violence against women leading to death are considered a serious challenge for the state to review traditional approaches to the prevention, response and protection from domestic violence," the government noted. "Any form of violence is a crime and an unacceptable phenomenon. "Only through the joint efforts of state bodies, civil society and all concerned citizens we can eradicate the phenomenon of domestic and gender-based violence."

That is why the residents of Kyrgyzstan joined marches of solidarity with the Women's march. The rallies of solidarity with the Women's march were held in Bishkek and other cities of the republic. The action was joined by Kyrgyz citizens living abroad. They take to the streets and take pictures with posters in support of a peaceful rally and publish photos on social networks with the hashtag #non-violence. According to the initiators of the action, it is impossible to observe the rights of some citizens of the country and violate the rights of others. Many were outraged by the impunity of the march attackers.

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Vestnik Kavkaza

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