Kyrgyz “Maidan” and Ukraine
Vitaly Portnikov: Today’s guest of “Radio Liberty” the head of the human rights movement ” Bir Duino – Kyrgyzstan ” Tolekan Ismailova. Since we conduct a conversation in Kiev, the first question is: why now in Bishkek so difficult to watch a movie on the Maidan? I remember when you led the Human Rights Film Festival, there were supposed to show the film on the Maidan, but tore his show. Me from the start was interested in this circumstance. He himself Kyrgyzstan passed through two similar revolution and also with human victims. The current president of Kyrgyzstan owes much of its power is that the second revolution, which put an end to the dictatorial regime Kurmanbeka BakievaBy the way, is very similar in nature to the regime Viktora Yanukovicha: they’re just like twins, but Yanukovych has not yet in Minsk and Rostov. Why is this so?
Tolekan Ismailova: This is a very sensitive issue. First of all, in these tragic days for the Ukrainian people, I would like to express their civic solidarity with him. Too many Kyrgyz citizens live events every day in Ukraine, because it is freedom. We understand the price of freedom, because we have experienced two revolutions. In one day, April 7, 2010, we lost 87 people on the square in the capital of Kyrgyzstan. But it is very unfortunate, because the lessons of the two revolutions did not meet the expectations of Kyrgyzstan. Today, we are reaping the fruits that were not able to do. I think that the experience of Kyrgyzstan is also very interesting for the Ukrainians, because freedom of expression, freedom of speech – is the foundation to become an active, self-sufficient citizens. If these freedoms are narrowed or repressed – it says that the system, in which people live, – undemocratic, treacherous, corrupt, that people use as a mass, but not recognized as true citizens. After the foundation of the state – it is the people, and the government is secondary in relation to the people.
Vitaly Portnikov: This question set is now very many, and the Ukraine, they say, Behold, the opposition came to power, and there are so many people who are somehow connected not with the old regime and the old system of relations. And you do not it was actually twice.
Tolekan Ismailova: Yes, it was a double. Family and clan system was clearly visible to everybody – it was a family Askara AkaevaIn which even children claim to power. We know how to have lost its democracy: we are three years bathed in an atmosphere of freedom and missed civilian control. In Kyrgyzstan came to a Canadian company, and gold in Kyrgyzstan, which to this day feeds a corrupt government, was the barrier, because of which we lost our freedom. And today we say that the government should be responsible to the people, it should not only be accountable to Parliament, but also to be open to make people feel as accepted economic, political and social decisions. But, unfortunately, today we see the former Soviet Union, only Ukraine gives hope for the former Soviet republics – where you can talk about the chance for change. After all, today you are fighting not only for freedom, you are fighting for, to get away from the post-Soviet totalitarian regime. It really is a long process.
Vitaly Portnikov: How is it that people who came to power in Kyrgyzstan, on the wave of popular discontent, so simply restores the old system clan relationships? With President Bakiyev understood – this was before our eyes. Here President Almazbek Atambayev… What is happening now? Kyrgyzstan joins the Customs Union, the Eurasian Union. It somehow affects the mood of the public themselves – at the level of public debate on the level of opportunity to influence the government?
Tolekan Ismailova: I know very well the history of Ukraine: you have a long time there is a culture of struggle for freedom. Even in Soviet times there were groups who really fought for the national independence of Ukraine, and until today you fight for it. But looking at the other countries, including Kyrgyzstan, we saw that the opposition, which allegedly came to replace the totalitarian system, spliced with it, they had common interests, both economic and political. Therefore, to say that Bakiev replaced Akayev … We (civil society) were crying … In Russia today, there is an approach to the NCB. Law on “foreign agents” and we have, in the Kyrgyz parliament. There are three projects aimed against NGOs, including – the law on “foreign agents.” This law has been completely rewritten from the Russian, there is even a comma is not changed. This indicates, the elite, supposedly speaking for democracy sauce actually deceived his people. This is tricky, very strong tactics the opposition by wearing a dress of democracy, actually just fought for resources. And today we see that Mr. Atambayev, who in his electoral program to talk about real freedom, civic participation … We fought for it, and that it is not Itibaeva posadili- it was on April 6, when we could die, but we struggled to save them. Today, they have forgotten about it and quickly broke away from us. Processes that took place after the 7th, they say that it was a resource section, and not the destruction of the policies pursued by Akayev and Bakiyev. We must see the opposition to understand its nature. We can not allow the range to power – that’s for sure. To achieve a good result it is necessary to take into account the experience of Poland, Czech Republic.
Vitaly Portnikov: You have compared the story of the Ukrainian Kyrgyz. And you can give another very good example. In 1991, on the eve of the coup, on the eve of the events in Kiev, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine is very tightly held power, a secretary of the Communist Party Successive led Parliament, and you have the first secretary of the Communist Party lost the presidential election. Do you remember who was Akaev – president of the Academy of Sciences. This happened just there, in Central Asia in Bishkek. So, you have plenty of people willing to change the attitude of the authorities.
Tolekan Ismailova: Of course, there were prepared. Democratic Movement “Achard” in Soviet times, fought for access to resources, to the earth, to come to power. There were thousands of hunger around the White House, people demanded the resignation of the old government, the old regime. But here it is necessary to understand: that elite who said that there will be real change … For example, I’m sorry, the great writer Chingiz Aitmatov helped come to power Akayev. It turned out that the family began to fight for gold in Kyrgyzstan, Akayev’s children were taken tons of the gold. This is a very sad story.
Vitaly Portnikov: The Russian media propaganda always have such a very important now, topic: west and east of Ukraine as the two are incompatible with each other part of the state. By the way, we see how it has denied the current Ukrainian history, as people from the East to defend their country. But there is the north of Kyrgyzstan is the south. And he also said that Kyrgyzstan can not normally exist, because there does not perceive north south. As far as this mythology is close to reality?
Tolekan Ismailova: Vitali, you know very well the events of the revolution. Do you remember in June 2010? Then, in the ethnic conflict had killed a lot of Kyrgyz citizens of Uzbek nationality. I myself was in place in the conflict zone, where the shot. We were saving people, we did not see who the Uzbek, who is Russian, Tatar who and who is Kyrgyzstan. We were in the thick of things. But, unfortunately, I was forced then to leave the country, because the former mayor Marzatmatov accused me of being a traitor to the nation that I am Kyrgyz, Uzbeks that I defend and that I gave the information to international organizations. I just pursued criminal groups, and not only me, but also some others. Even today, when we demand from the power of access to information, access to decision-making, we have referred to as “foreign agents.” Every year, reading the report on the OSCE human dimension we see a huge number of maternal mortality, infant mortality, or data on the poor education in Kyrgyzstan (and rightly so). We are talking about human rights and we demand equal participation in the protection of rights for citizens of Kyrgyzstan. There are about 80 nationalities – Stalin had tried that from the Caucasus, from the Ukraine deported people. We are proud that we have such a human resource – 80 nationalities. But you can not say that human rights work at all – it’s not true. And when we are fighting for the system to work at all, put a stigma on us – they say that we betray the nation. We have to live with it, we have to prove anything – thank God, very many understand it with us. As for the dilemma of “South – North” … It’s dirty, very cunning politicians divide people – exactly the same as in Ukraine. This is Russian propaganda, which is very much work in these areas, including in Kyrgyzstan. When there were events in Ukraine – thank God that we are in such a strong solidarity network – we were on duty on the Maidan, we have seen these processes. We said that this peaceful protest and that we must respond. When Yanukovych said that the bill, as in Russia, we were just amazed at how this can be done.
Corrupt authoritarian leaders, sitting in a gold toilets, people do not need. Be a citizen and to achieve real change – a problem faced by both the Ukrainian NGOs, and in front of us. But you better, you’re ahead, and if the international criminal court will turn out the way you want to, if he starts to really work and the higher echelons of the people would lead to liability, then you really tell the world as the best country, that is the fight against impunity, which it should no longer be repeated in Ukraine.
Vitaly Portnikov: How Kyrgyzstan can develop in these conditions? People came twice already – speaking tongue-Ukrainian policy, were two of the Maidan, killing so many people. But by and large it has not changed the essence of statehood. Moreover, Kyrgyzstan remains in the Russian orbit, even into her more firmly than it did under President Akayev, because Akaev was still trying to maneuver, and the president Atambayev can not maneuver, it is all signed, everything has been decided. Even President Bakiyev was trying to maneuver, remember – among the American and Russian base desires. The maneuvers ended. What can people oppose this now?
Tolekan Ismailova: I was in Simferopol, the Crimean Tatars have seen the story, I am familiar with Mr. Mustafa Dzhemilev . I think that even one person can play a role in the history of the people – I’m talking about Kyrgyzstan. We do not agree, we are fighting, and they know that we are fighting. Therefore, they are so eager to introduce these three bills – everything to be like in Russia. But in Kyrgyzstan, it will not. We love freedom, we – the mountain people. I think the power of naive, because people can not remember what was in the Ukraine. We even know when he died the first citizen who read poetry in Ukrainian Move– it is impossible to forget. Spirit of freedom is not easy, the price of freedom is great. You have to be very responsible citizen, not to give a very malicious leaders to seize the political field, the area where the person should live free. This must be understood. Now the post-Soviet space is living it. I think that in Russia are the same processes – people can not live in bondage. Also in Uzbekistan, people are still thinking about how to change the environment. This is not politics, it is human rights – to live with dignity. And to trample human dignity will not let anyone.
Vitaly Portnikov: We see what is happening in Russia: how the economy is what is happening with the Russian currency. More and more publications and statistics, and journalism, that of wage labor, which has been used in Russia in recent years – the work of people from Central Asia – it was ordinary, classical slavery: the Third Rome – as in the First Rome.
Tolekan Ismailova: Our leaders have also helped them in this. They said: Ride in the Russian …
Vitaly Portnikov … and earn money. This young able-bodied people. Kyrgyzstan is – a modern country: many loans to the apartment on the car, family, children need to be fed. And now a huge number of people coming home. According to statistics, 70% decrease in the number of money transfers from Russia. What these people are doing right now in Kyrgyzstan, as they find themselves? As the state is ready to respond to the mass re-emigration?
Tolekan Ismailova: This is also a difficult question. We as citizens have worked not only within the country, developing democracy and human rights. In two years, 404 “cargo 200” came to Kyrgyzstan from Russia – that is, in peacetime, people die. My nephew went to Tver and back in a coffin. We began to do it – Russia, Kazakhstan, our partners, human rights activists, including “Memorial”, which is closed in St. Petersburg, but there is a very strong experts who work on the preparation of reports. We have created more civil platform “Central Asia on the move”: sending countries – Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan – and the host countries – Middle Kazakhstan and Russia. In Kazakhstan, too, the situation is very difficult, because people fall into slavery, and so on. As for Russia, there MBF officially announced that 40% of migrants leave the country immediately. They really leave her, because there was a drop in the Russian ruble. The same 5000 people can earn at home, not while being in danger, both in Moscow (this is so they say). We – the representatives of the four countries – currently meet on this issue in Bishkek. This is one of the major problems which now lie on the budget impact on the situation in Kyrgyzstan, given that the marginal population, which is already cut off from a good education, very radical. The second threat is a very strong trend – they go to radical Islam. This is a problem not only in Kyrgyzstan – this is a problem in the region. We, as civil society activists are trying to work on this problem, we try to force the government to pay attention to not only the money that go, as they boast – about the budget filled. Excuse me, but what’s next? Access to medicine access to education, the patent system, which today many prejudice and discriminates, skinheads, aggressive stance of politicians sitting in the Duma, who say: is not this the people (such as – “the second grade”). Working in this format, we are trying through legal, civil initiatives to alleviate the situation for migrants and their families. Great hope – that will work international mechanisms. We appeal to international bodies. But we are far from the European Court, we have no access to. The only thing – the United Nations system and OSCE. civic initiatives to alleviate the situation for migrants and their families. Great hope – that will work international mechanisms. We appeal to international bodies. But we are far from the European Court, we have no access to. The only thing – the United Nations system and OSCE. civic initiatives to alleviate the situation for migrants and their families. Great hope – that will work international mechanisms. We appeal to international bodies. But we are far from the European Court, we have no access to. The only thing – the United Nations system and OSCE.
Vitaly Portnikov: You say that people can come and earn money in Kyrgyzstan. And now they can earn something if returned? It is also a question.
Tolekan Ismailova: They leave to work in other countries: Turkey, Korea, China. Flows are redirected. But also not to say that it is a safe migration. Therefore, we are now working with a committee of Parliament on the possibilities of decentralization policies and regional development. Developed regions without talking about border security and the development is impossible.
Vitaly Portnikov: Do you think that in the civil society of Kyrgyzstan feel the going on some sort of a generational change that young people come, that they – have the other? Can we say that the youth of the country is different from the generations that grew up in the Soviet era?
Tolekan Ismailova: In Kyrgyzstan, 80 nationalities – it is the human resource. Today we can speak about a very young, very talented bloggers. We can talk about human rights defenders, for instance, Nurbek Toktakunov – organization “precedent”, it works with graduate students. This is a huge number of people. We have an annual International Documentary Film Festival – just one on which was not given to show the film on the Maidan. Apparently afraid to show movies on the Maidan, because there is a question who fired who was involved in this, and why not there is an investigation.
Vitaly Portnikov: What do you think, why we have such a problem with the investigation?
Tolekan Ismailova: This is a question of responsibility of those who came to power. They do not want to investigate.
Vitaly Portnikov: Are you convinced of this during your meetings Kiev?
Tolekan Ismailova: I think there are similar moments. Police, who was involved in this, and depended on the orders – a large number of people today who are very strange psychological policy. Maybe, internally they are very sick, as in Kyrgyzstan, but it should be civil liability – say, that was to blame. Even in UN documents is an indication of the fact that when there is an order against the civilian population, the police should not obey the order. It is a pity that they are still subject to the post-Soviet space. A lot of prosecutors, a lot of people that … For example, we Bakiyev, and you Yanukovych – they are here and they are also barriers to the investigation, to justice. They, too, are waiting for the civil society a little calm to capture … Our experience shows civil society: it is impossible to sleep, you have to move. If you do not go, someone else will take this space.
Vitaly Portnikov: Your investigation after the death of people, too, was not particularly successful in Bishkek.
Tolekan Ismailova: Even independent international commission was ignored. We are very sorry that at the recent hearings in Geneva on the Universal Periodic report also has not been given any concrete results about the person who is guilty of the tragic events during the revolution and the tragic interethnic events that were after.
Vitaly Portnikov: Do you see parallels to what happened after the overthrow of Bakiyev, and that was after fleeing Yanukovych? Even in Kyrgyzstan, Bakiyev’s brothers tried to raise the south – almost tried to organize a civil war. And we, too, it is obvious that the main stake on the Donbass, where Yanukovych and his “family” were such a strong position.
Tolekan Ismailova: We need to be proactive, developing a strategy of freedom and democracy. To be successful, we must conduct a comprehensive work together with economists, financiers, and so on. After all, those people who have been assigned the old leaders – they dream of returning, they live in it, because they share resources, common corruption schemes, they rob the economy. It is necessary to quickly make reforms. Without reforms, it is impossible – it is the experience of successful, leading countries such as Poland or the Czech Republic ( “Solidarity” has played a unique role). It should be a team effort, understandable to civil society and the people – and the people will support this. Without the support of the people it is very difficult to purify from that of the personnel system, which was based on money and corruption schemes.
Vitaly Portnikov: In Ukraine (in many ways, again, it seems to me, with the filing of our Russian colleagues) like to discuss the topic of the third Maidan. I’m always in such cases, said: I hope that the current government, which took place in two of the Maidan, has exactly understand if people take to the streets, that people need to engage in dialogue and not to hide behind the ranks of policemen and not to create an environment in which can be killed peaceful protesters and law enforcement officials. At least in these two Maidana, we have come to the model of dialogue between the authorities and society. Kyrgyzstan after the two revolutions possible third? You see your power today the need for dialogue?
Tolekan Ismailova: I think that the Ukrainian government, having now a political will, a strong civilian control, that support from civil society, too, should not procrastinate. After all, even the fight against impunity must go under international law. You need to quickly ratify and extend the Rome StatuteBecome a member of the International Criminal Court. This is salvation for these same leaders, if they are truly committed to the values being talked about, and committed to their people. But if they start to cheat – it is very painful. We have so far stalled dialogue. He was a little, and then they started coming up with other things. Now people are disappointed. In principle, the opposition, which is today in Kyrgyzstan, too, is not so democratic. The question is, how to be. We, as civil society activists began a long time, we had two strategies: the first – is the participation of women in politics (and we are promoting it), and the second – the development of youth civic initiatives in order to break down the patriarchal family and the clan system and make horizontal leadership similar to Ukrainian, in the leadership of the democratic countries. If you can see the former prime minister on a bicycle and calmly talk to him in Poland or the Czech Republic, our leave, because they have to take away the gold, you should take away the fact that we have accumulated. What about the leadership – that’s the question we’re working on. Of course it is, it is different, we have 80 nationalities, but unifying force, a horizontal network so far, I would say average. But we – the optimists, and there is hope that we will achieve our goal only through peaceful tools and through civic pressure. God forbid violent upheaval … I would say average. But we – the optimists, and there is hope that we will achieve our goal only through peaceful tools and through civic pressure. God forbid violent upheaval … I would say average. But we – the optimists, and there is hope that we will achieve our goal only through peaceful tools and through civic pressure. God forbid violent upheaval …