Updated at 13:19,16-08-2022

Protesters attack Belarusian embassy in Bishkek over Bakiyev case


People infuriated by Belarus` refusal to extradite Zhanybek (Zhanysh) Bakiyev, a brother of former Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, attacked the Belarusian embassy in Bishkek on Tuesday, throwing stones at the building and trying to break through the fence around it.

Dozens of people gathered near the embassy on Tuesday morning to demand the extradition of Zhanybek Bakiyev, who is wanted by Kyrgyzstan`s law enforcement agencies and Interpol for "grave criminal offenses."

The demonstrators, including relatives of those killed in a crackdown on protests in 2010, shouted that the embassy should be closed, and that diplomatic relations with Belarus should be broken off because its authorities are "hiding murderers."

They demanded that Belarusian Ambassador Viktar Dzenisenka come out to meet with them. The attackers had smashed several windows by the time they were pushed back by police. No Belarusian diplomats were reportedly injured.

The Belarusian foreign ministry responded by issuing a warning to Kyrgyzstan`s charge d`affaires over the attack. "The charge d`affaires was summoned to the foreign ministry today and warned that provocative actions endangering the diplomatic mission and its staff were completely unacceptable," the ministry`s spokesman, Andrey Savinykh, told BelaPAN. "Kazakhstan should take the necessary measures to ensure the security of the Belarusian embassy."

On August 24, Kyrgyzstan recalled its ambassador to Belarus, Erik Asanaliev, "for consultations" over Minsk`s refusal to extradite Zhanybek Bakiyev. The row erupted after Mr. Bakiyev was spotted and photographed on a downtown street in Minsk on August 17 by Belarusian opposition activist Mikhail Pashkevich. Mr. Bakiyev, who was the head of Kurmanbek Bakiyev’s presidential guard service, was photographed along with Tahir Rysaliev, 55, the former deputy head of the service who was a fellow university student of Zhanybek Bakiyev; and Rustam Sayduev, 36, a friend of Kurmanbek Bakiyev’s son Maksim.

All the three are the prime suspects in the murder in March 2009 of Medet Sadyrkulov, a former head of the Presidential Administration; Sergei Slepchenko, director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and Kubat Sulaymanov, the driver of the car they were in.

Zhanybek Bakiyev is also believed to have given the order to shoot at a crowd of protesters in Bishkek in April 2010, which left more than 80 people dead. Kurmanbek Bakiyev fled Kyrgyzstan after being overthrown as a result of violent anti-government protests in his country and resurfaced in Minsk in late April 2010. He was offered refuge by Alyaksandr Lukashenka, who said later that he had received Mr. Bakiyev as a head of state, not as an outlaw. According to unconfirmed reports, Kurmanbek Bakiyev was granted Belarusian citizenship in 2010. Earlier this year, he reportedly bought a house on the outskirts of Minsk for $2 million. The former Kyrgyz president has five brothers: Zhanybek, Kanybek, Marat, Akmat and Adyl. One more brother, Zhusup, died in 2006.