Kyrgyzstani authorities say they are ready to use force to counter disorder

General news correspondent
President of Kyrgyzstan highlighted that Kyrgyzstanis should respect those who want to study in Kyrgyzstan / Collage by, photo editor: Aruzhan Makhsotova 

President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Japarov addressed the nation over unrest that triggered the mass exodus of Pakistani students out of the country.

According to the president, all the disorder was provoked by some politicians who are serving their sentences in jail. He warned that next time law enforcement officers will receive an order to apply force to counter rioters.

As Japarov mentioned, on May 13, police detained several people involved in a violent but limited incident. However, on May 18, «some forces interested in getting the situation more acute» disseminated «fake news about the incident» adding fuel to the conflict.

He admitted that those who demand to stop the illegal migration of foreigners are «definitely right.» However, Japarov condemned those who blindly followed provocative messages appealing to national pride.

Who provoked people to take part in unrest in Bishkek 

According to Japarov, there are three categories of people who were engaged in the proliferation of misinformation via social messengers: those who want to take over political power, those who do not support the fight against corruption and those who have been jailed.

As Japarov noted, during the night of May 18, police tried to prevent the situation from escalating. It was very important because some armed provocateurs called on people to disobey the government blaming authorities for allegedly humiliating ethnic Kyrgyz people instead of protecting them. Given that some good citizens might have believed these messages, the police didn’t use any force, Japarov explained.

«Of course, there were hooligans who tried to attack the student dormitory. We managed to stop them before something horrible might have happened. All of them will face the music of what they have done,» he said.

Japarov also expressed hope that nothing similar to what happened on the night of May 18 will happen ever again and citizens will be more careful toward messages they hear and see on social media and won’t rise to provocations. He warned that next time law enforcement officers will apply all force they possess.

«If something similar happens again, law enforcement agencies will use force without further ado. Our law enforcement agencies are no longer as weak as they used to be. Anyone, either a Kyrgyzstani citizen or a foreigner, will be seriously punished if they dare to threaten the integrity of our state or spark disorder,» the president underscored.

What the president said about those affected by the unrest 

Japarov believes that Kyrgyzstanis should be happy to see foreign students who also have their motherlands. Once they have graduated or worked in Kyrgyzstan for a while, they will return to their home countries, he noted.

«We all know that they pay taxes. Those educational establishments that provide foreign students with educational services and small businesses in our country earn millions of dollars. This revenue works for the good of our economy,» the president emphasized.

Concerning jobs that foreigners allegedly «have taken» from locals, he said that many Kyrgyzstanis do not want to work in some positions. This is why entrepreneurs have to hire someone else.

«If you refused to hire foreigners, many businesses would stop working due to labor force shortages. Many entrepreneurs would go bankrupt and our economy would suffer,» Japarov said.

Furthermore, he pointed out that many young Kyrgyzstanis are studying or working abroad. Anyone would find himself vulnerable when he leaves his home country.

«Never forget that our sons and daughters who are abroad right now could face the same attitude,» the president warned.

The context. On May 13, a conflict between local youth and foreign students happened in the vicinity of the Alamedin marketplace. According to the local police, about ten people living in a hostel took part in the rumble.

On the night of May 17, hundreds of people took to the streets in Bishkek. A thousand young people later attacked the dormitory of the International University of Kyrgyzstan. As a result, authorities opened two criminal cases related to public disorder and incitement of race, ethnic, national, religious and regional hatred.

The government of Kyrgyzstan has condemned the unrest and attacks on foreign students and denied reports about murders of foreign students circulating in the international media.

Right after the unrest, Pakistan launched an evacuation of its students. About 130 Pakistani students have already left the country, while 540 more people are currently waiting to be evacuated.

Deputy Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Edil Baisalov apologized to Pakistani students for «the violence and harm caused by a group of hooligans.» He assured foreign students that there is nothing to worry about as the country’s authorities have taken full responsibility for their wellbeing. The Kyrgyzstan cabinet is now considering compensating foreign students; no details and timeline for the move are available so far.

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