April 2023 | Ban on protests extended
The latest challenge to end the ban on rallies and protest in central Bishkek was denied by Kyrgyzstan’s Supreme Court on 29 April. The ban was instituted in March 2022, apparently to prevent rallies against Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on the city’s Ala-Too Square or near the Russian embassy. The ban has been repeatedly extended despite domestic and international criticism and legal challenges, and the national Ombudsman Atyr Abdrakhmatova has argued it is unconstitutional.
November 2022 | Shock deportation of investigative journalist
On 23 November, the Court of Appeals upheld a lower court decision finding the investigative journalist Bolot Temirov guilty of document fraud, and then shocked Temirov and observers by ruling that he should be stripped of his Kyrgyz citizenship and immediately deported to Russia, where he also holds citizenship. The move followed months of judicial harassment and anger from senior officials over Temirov’s reporting on the business dealings of powerful officials. The move also follows other extrajudicial crackdowns on civil society, political opposition, and the media in recent months, including the blocking of the US-funded Radio Azattyk in October.
October 2022 | Outcry over sweeping arrests
More than 20 well-known activists and opposition politicians were arrested over several days in late October to face charges on an alleged plot to incite riots and seize power. Domestic critics and international rights organizations say the arrests were an attempt to prevent public criticism of a proposed land swap with Uzbekistan, and are part of a larger slide towards authoritarianism in the country.
September 2022 | Clashes on Kyrgyz-Tajik border kill over 100
Two days of clashes along the Kyrgyz-Tajik border resulted in over 100 dead, at least 59 of whom were civilians, hundreds of thousands of Kyrgyz internally displaced people, and attacks on civilian infrastructure on both sides. Although the violence was instigated by well-armed modern militaries, roving armed mobs were recorded attacking both Tajik and Kyrgyz villages. Specific details about what instigated the fighting and the number of dead and injured are difficult to come by, in part due to Tajikistan’s tightly controlled information environment.