In Kyrgyzstan nationalists and police dispersed the March of Women
In the capital of Kyrgyzstan, the city of Bishkek, a demonstration in defense of women’s rights was foiled. According to journalists, the women were attacked by masked people with bats. They shouted: “In Kyrgyzstan, this should not be!” The police did not respond to the attack but began to detain the demonstrators themselves. Despite the fact that Kyrgyzstan (like Russia) is formally a secular state, religious fundamentalism is very strong there. With any attitude to female protest, the hooligan behavior of the masked youths and their accomplices in police uniform deserves only condemnation.
A March in honor of International Women’s Day is held every year but only this time it ended in such a shameful way. One of the March participants told the reporters: “We did not even start the march yet when several dozens of masked young people attacked us. Some of them had sticks”. According to her, the aggressive masked men started beating women and children. After the police whistle the attackers fled, and the police began to grab the participants of the march. They also tore their posters. In total, about 20 participants of the rally were delivered to the Internal Affairs Directorate of Sverdlovsk district of Bishkek. The press service of the Bishkek police department is inaccessible for comment, and the press service of the Kyrgyz Ministry of Internal Affairs declines to comment.
There is evidence that the attack on the women’s rally in Bishkek is not a spontaneous act of “indignant men,” as some commentators try to present it. The March was dispersed by the youths from the nationalist movement Kirk Choro. The leader of this movement Zamirbek Kochorbaev confirmed to the press that his activists had participated in the events. While denying Kirk Choro’s involvement in the violent actions, he still stated that “we are banning such outings … in Kyrgyzstan”. There is evidence that the Kirk Choro movement works closely with the authorities, for example, with the indulgence of the police it raids public places to identify “undesirable elements”. None of the youths were held accountable for their illegal acts. This practice looks very much like the activities of similar groups in Russia.
According to press reports, the rally was dedicated to victims of domestic violence. Judging by the photo and video materials that got on the Internet, the participants in this action were very different people: women who sincerely wanted to protect their rights, as well as representatives of bourgeois feminism, the LGBT community, etc. The use of purple and “rainbow” flags is, first of all, an indicator of the disorientation of the popular movement, the weak influence of the Communists (whose activities are not heard at all in Kyrgyzstan). But, no matter how mistaken some of the protesters might be, the actions of the masked hooligans can only cause disgust and anger.