Kyrgyz secret service looking for “regime overthrow calls” in newspaper article
“The State Committee for National Security of the Kyrgyz Republic is undertaking appropriate measures in connection with a statement by the leadership of the Vecherniy Bishkek publishing house entitled ‘Who is leading the country to a catastrophe?’ and published on 22 April 2015. [The GKNB is doing so] with the aim of identifying whether the publication in question contains public calls for a violent overthrow of the constitutional order in the country: necessary examinations and appropriate measures are being undertaken. The findings of these [measures] will undergo juridical assessment and appropriate procedural decisions will be made,” a press release the GKNB circulated reads in part. The secret service also expresses preparedness to ensure the authors’ safety.
Background: Vecherniy Bishkek addressed Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev via a statement, in which the editorial office accused the head of state’s former driver and bodyguard of attempting to forcibly overtake the Rubikon advertising firm (the financial centre of Vecherniy Bishkek Publishing House Closed Joint-Stock Company). The information policies department of the presidential administration reported the following day that President Atambayev tasked the GKNB and the Prosecutor General’s office to thoroughly investigate into the accusations levied against Farid Niyazov, an aide to the president, Erkin Mambetaliyev, a former bodyguard of the president, and Ikramjan Ilmiyanov, a deputy chief of the presidential administration, i.e. individuals named in said statement.
“The way the investigation is going is bringing about an unequivocal conclusion: the leadership of the publishing house, and not these three, will be found guilty. This circumstance is forcing us to address the civil society and all political forces in the country for their support,” the statement reads in part.
The newspaper also “calls on all political forces, civil institutions and the business community to unite in order to defend the country and the future of each individual Kyrgyzstani from judicial arbitrariness and pressure on state institutions on the part of a few individuals in President Almazbek Atambayev’s entourage, who are shamelessly manipulating the public opinion by the means of state-controlled mass media outlets.” The publishing house leadership “urges not to be scared to withstand the pressure on the part of the administration and report any and all cases of violating the country’s laws and corruption cases. The Vecherniy Bishkek’s information platform is also available for doing so.”
The statement also reads that “a conspiracy between the authorities and political forces is leading the country to a catastrophe”; “by accusing [some of] those in the president’s entourage, we are affording an opportunity to unite and speak out that Kyrgyzstan is in danger!” and “we will be pressured, imprisoned and killed.” The authors of the statement further state the following: “[We] understand that nothing can stop the authorities from trampling us, yet we conscientiously took the initiative to state that those close to the president rule in the country [by] controlling courts, power-wielding bodies, information resources and financial flows. And this threat to national security impacts not only Kyrgyzstan, but the neighbouring countries as well.”
The editorial office believes that “utilising mass media outlets under their control—TV channels primarily—those close to the president are forcing the scandal onto the political plane, thus attempting to display us as scoundrels thirsting for a third revolution. […] If there are still naïve people in our country who perceive Almazbek Atambayev as a democrat and believe his words about reforms, which sadly failed to deliver the results desired by the society—wake up! He promised not to be become a dragon, as his predecessor did. He also said if anyone sees him turning into a dragon, then they must tell him about that. There! We can see that Atambayev has turned into a dragon. And [he turned into a dragon that] is deaf and blind to what those close to him are doing right under his nose.”