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06/10/2023

The ghost of a coup?

The ghost of a coup?

According to various sources, more than 30 people were detained in Kyrgyzstan this week. Potentially, their number could grow to 100 or more. The arrests happened because the secret service has identified a certain group that was planning a violent seizure of power and a coup d’état. Yes, and with a Russian trace, allegedly.

Monday, June 5, began with reports that the State Committee for National Security (GKNB of the Kyrgyz Republic) was carrying out mass arrests. Later, there were rumours that this office was packing supporters of the leader of the “Butun Kyrgyzstan” opposition faction, Adakhan Madumarov. At one time, he collected and sent several humanitarian supplies to residents of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics. Recently he has been one of the harshest critics of the country’s current government.

However, this information was later not confirmed. Although they remembered that a couple of weeks earlier, one of A. Madumarov’s supporters was arrested for his posts in social networks on charges of inciting hatred – interethnic, interfaith and interregional. The latter is a local feature. There were suggestions that it was possible that they “received the information” necessary for the special operation from the arrested person. Moreover, last week the Prosecutor General’s Office of Kyrgyzstan already submitted a proposal to the parliament for permission to bring the leader of the opposition faction to criminal liability. According to the same articles: Preparation for a violent seizure of power, riots and a coup d’état. The main oversight body even gave MPs 48 hours to respond to his request. However, the parliamentarians created their own commission and thus delayed the answer. The thought arose: Are the authorities trying to speed up the arrest of an objectionable opponent in this way?

But nothing has been confirmed. It became known that the arrests took place in the context of the fight against a possible coup attempt and riots. Who is this or what kind of criminal case? Everything was in an information vacuum. There were only short videos of Alpha fighters jumping out of their cars and tying up a few people. The detentions themselves took place somehow delicately, without the deliberate rudeness and cruelty characteristic of Special Forces. People were simply twisted their hands behind their backs and put into the “funnel”. They showed only footage of the detention of people sitting in the car and how they broke into some kind of mansion. At the same time, the Special Forces usually grab everyone they meet on the way. Here – no, the “alphas” took only certain people.

Further, the press centre of the State Committee for National Security reported some details about the detention of a group of people who, according to the investigation, were involved in the preparation of mass riots and actions of disobedience in order to seize power. According to official figures, five people were detained then. The security services also released an edited video of the detainees allegedly discussing the coup plot. This is a two part audio recording. In the first there is a discussion between several people, one voice belongs to a middle-aged woman. She declares that there are 10 people who have 10 thousand in their hands and will take to the streets under any suitable pretext, since “riots are inevitable.” The second part is already a telephone conversation between the same woman and a man who travelled to the Talas region. She demanded that he leave for the region as soon as possible. As you can see, there is nothing special.

After these videos, it became known that one of the detainees was the chairman of the Eldik Kenesh (People’s Council) political party, Roza Nurmatova. Journalists have revealed very interesting facts from her biography. For example, the fact that she was close to the ruling tandem in Kyrgyzstan today. And, especially with the main chekist Kamchybek Tashiev. So, in 2012, R. Nurmatova headed the headquarters of supporters of Sadyr Japarov and Kamchybek Tashiev, after their arrest. Previously, she also worked as the head of the government’s social service. In addition, she actively participated in the infamous attempt to climb over the fence 11 years ago by the then MP K. Tashiev. At that time, he tore the soft tissues of his legs and buttocks on the sharp peaks of the fence of the Government House. After that, he was arrested and tried under an article about an attempted coup d’état and a violent seizure of power… And today the ring is closed.

It was not in vain that we mentioned caution and even tenderness in the process of arrests. The State Committee for National Security incrementally increased the information. “People who were planning to organize mass riots and actions of disobedience with the aim of the subsequent violent seizure of power were detained. It is clarified that on the basis of the information received and the collected audio and video materials, a criminal case was initiated, within the framework of which a complex of special investigative actions approved by the court was carried out,” the secret service said in another message. “This criminal organization purposefully recruited supporters throughout the year and recruited the most disaffected citizens across the country. The organizer and inspirer of the idea is a civil activist and chairman of the political party ‘Eldik Kenesh’. Under her leadership, meetings were regularly held aimed at educating those involved against state structures by discussing plans for a violent seizure of power,” the department said. The State Committee for National Security explained that more than 100 people from different social strata and regions of the republic were involved in the organized group, between which roles with specific tasks were clearly divided. There is information that in the near future he is expected to receive money from foreign sources to finance organizational issues and pay benefits to key officials. The conspirators intended to begin the active phase of the implementation of their criminal plans immediately after the appearance of discontent in society for any reason.

Monday ended with the arrest of more than 30 people, all of whom were taken to the State Committee for National Security.

“It has been established that R. Nurmatova and its chief employees gave confessions. Material evidence confirming their criminal intentions has been confiscated. All the detainees were placed in the temporary detention centre of the State Committee for National Security,” the department added.

However, there are doubts about the nature of what happened. It is very doubtful that R. Nurmatova will be able to lead a movement that could gather up to 100 thousand or more people. The security forces do not disclose the sources of money for street riots. Do not want to spoil relations with some country? Yes, and it would be much more logical to wait for the start of funding, and then stop the activities of this group in order to have more trump cards in behind-the-scenes negotiations with a so far unknown state.

Further, R. Nurmatova did not know about the scale of opportunities today for S. Japarov and K. Tashiev? It is unlikely that they would have entrusted their lives to a stupid person 11 years ago. But in the published videos, business cards of Russians flashed. Especially a certain “Party for the Defense of the Constitution of Russia” and one of the structures of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). An Internet search resulted in a middle-aged man appearing at the given name with his hand raised to zigging. How could a Russian Nazi find common ground with a Central Asian revolutionary? But in social networks, especially in the “muzzle book”, the following narrative began to be dispersed – they say that Russia was going to finance this opposition, since Moscow is dissatisfied with the excessively independent policy of Bishkek. This is done by bloggers whose pages are an “exhibition of achievements” of the ruling power.

It looks like another “controlled operation”. The State Committee for National Security has repeatedly detained people on charges of preparing a coup d’état. And so far, no one has been convicted under this article. Even despite the fact that the secret service has always demanded a closed trial for reasons of secrecy.

So what is it – a provocation or an imitation of violent activity? After all, it all happened on the day British Deputy Foreign Minister Leo Doherty arrived in Bishkek. And the official visit of the Qatari Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

Previosly published on Asia Today here. Translation by UWI.

United World International

Independent analytical center where political scientists and experts in international relations from various countries exchange their opinions and views.

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