Kyrgyzstan: relatives of detained environmentalists, media workers detainedEvent
- Initial Date
- Jan 10, 2023
- Event Description
Police in Bishkek have dispersed and briefly detained dozens of supporters and relatives of 26 Kyrgyz politicians and activists arrested last year for protesting against a border deal with Uzbekistan.
Police forced the men and women onto buses and took them to police stations while they were holding a rally near Bishkek's Gorky Park on January 10 demanding the release of the jailed politicians and activists.
Several journalists who covered the rally-- including a reporter for RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service -- were detained along with the demonstrators, but released shortly afterwards. Others were released hours later.
Kyrgyz authorities arrested 26 members of the so-called Kempir-Abad Defense Committee in late October after they protested against the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border demarcation deal which saw Kyrgyzstan in November hand over the territory of the Kempir-Abad water reservoir, comprising 4,485 hectares, to Uzbekistan in exchange for over 19,000 hectares elsewhere.
Those arrested were charged with planning riots over the border agreement, which was more than three decades in the making.
Seventeen of those detained have been on a hunger strike for a week.
In November, the presidents of the two Central Asian nations signed the controversial deal into law after lawmakers in both countries approved it.
The Kempir-Abad reservoir, known in Uzbekistan as the Andijon reservoir, was built in 1983. It is located in the fertile Ferghana Valley and represents a vital regional water source. Uzbekistan, whose population of 35 million is five times larger than that of Kyrgyzstan, uses most of the water from the area.
Many Kyrgyz civil activists, opposition politicians, and residents living close to the dam have been against the deal, saying Uzbekistan should continue to be allowed to use the water, but the reservoir's land should remain within Kyrgyzstan.
President Japarov and his allies claim the deal benefits Kyrgyzstan and that Kyrgyz farmers will still have access to the water reservoir.
- Impact of Event
- (Arbitrary) Arrest and Detention
- Rights Concerned
- Freedom of assembly
- Freedom of expression
- Right to liberty and security
- Right to Protest
- Family of HRD
- Media Worker
- Monitoring Status
- Event Location
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On 10 January 2023, a group of individuals including relatives of detained environmentalists and media workers were forced onto buses and taken to police stations by the police for calling for the release of their relatives in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.