What is going on in Kyrgyzstan?

Map of Kirgistan

Map of Kirgistan

In central Asia there is a story unfolding that is so far largely being ignored by Western media.

The problems seem to have started on the day of the UN Secretary General’ s visit to Kirgistan.

As the BBC wrote:

His [Ban Ki Moon’s] arrival was marked by a protest outside the UN building in the capital Bishkek by human rights activists and journalists.

Mr Ban has been urged by activists to raise the issue of human rights and curbs on the media.

In recent weeks some TV channels and an opposition newspaper have been shut down by Kyrgyz authorities.

Several independent websites have also been blocked.

In an open letter, Kyrgyz civic groups requested that Mr Ban use his visit to raise the issue of human rights violations.

Then yesterday, tensions escalated, when members of the opposition, said to around thousand, occupied a administrative office building in Talas. The situation seemed to have been brought under control and the crowd dispersed, at least that’s what security forces claimed.

They seem to have come back, however, to re-occupy the building and this morning protests have spread to Bishkek, the capital of Kirgistan. So far, there is talk of 4 death, 100 injured and a declaration of the state of emergency by Kurmanbek Bakiyev, the country’s president:

РИА Новости. Президент Киргизии Курманбек Бакиев в среду подписал указ о введении комендантского часа, передает Государственный телеканал Киргизии.

ТВ не уточняет, на какой территории глава государства предлагает ввести комендантский час. Однако судя по тому, что указ передан на утверждение в киргизский парламент, эта мера предусмотрена не только для столицы, но и для всей республики.

RIA Novosti. Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev has signed a decree on Wednesday that imposing a curfew, says the state television of Kyrgyzstan.

The TV does not specify the territory in which the Head of State proposes to introduce a curfew. However, judging by the fact that a decree needs approval of the Kyrgyz parliament, this measure provides not only for the capital but also for the whole republic.

Note Pravda talks about a state of emergency having been declared, RIA Novosti calls it a curfew.

It seems like the BBC is now picking up on the story.