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Cablegate: Kyrgyz Ombudsman Blames Security Services For

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C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BISHKEK 000071

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR SCA/CEN (GORKOWSKI)

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/29/2020
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR PHUM KG
SUBJECT: KYRGYZ OMBUDSMAN BLAMES SECURITY SERVICES FOR
ABUSES

REF: 09 BISHKEK 1331

BISHKEK 00000071 001.2 OF 002


Classified By: Ambassador Tatiana C. Gfoeller, Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

1. (C) SUMMARY: The Kyrgyz Ombudsman for Human Rights
Tursunbek Akun said in a meeting with the Ambassador that he
was very concerned about the deteriorating human rights
situation in Kyrgyzstan. He asserted that the Kyrgyz State
National Security Service (SNB) was responsible for the death
of former Chief of Staff Medet Sadyrkulov, and also for
recent attacks on journalist Gennadiy Pavlyuk, and Manas
Airport President Bakyt Sydykov, among others. In a separate
meeting, former Foreign Minister Askar Aitmatov gave a
back-handed compliment to President Bakiyev for keeping the
political opposition in such disorder. END SUMMARY.

2. (C) The Ambassador met with Kyrgyz Ombudsman for Human
Rights Tursunbek Akun on January 25. Akun said that he asked
for the meeting because he values the Embassy's support in
his human rights work. He also said that he was very
concerned about the deteriorating human rights situation in
Kyrgyzstan. Akun has served as Ombudsman since March 2008,
and was presumably selected because of his strong
relationship with then Presidential Chief of Staff Medet
Sadyrkulov.

It's All Part of a Chain
------------------------

3. (C) The Ambassador asked Akun for his views on the
recent series of assaults on journalists. Akun replied that
they are all links in a chain, going back to the death of
former Presidential Chief of Staff Medet Sadyrkulov in March
2009. Echoing the suspicions of most of our interlocutors,
Akun said that Sadyrkulov's death was not an accident -- he
was murdered because of his contacts with the opposition, and
because he had pushed President Bakiyev to cut his family out
of the government. Akun said that SNB Chairman Murat
Sutalinov, and ultimately Janysh Bakiyev, was responsible for
Sadyrkulov's death. Akun said that they had also ordered the
November attack on Manas Airport President Bakyt Sydykov
(who, according to Akun, was XXXXXXXXXXXX injured far more
severely than was publicly acknowledged), the December murder
of journalist Gennadiy Pavlyuk, and several other assaults.
According to Akun, Sutalinov keeps the SNB's hands clean by
using hired thugs from Jalalabad to carry out attacks.

4. (C) Akun said that he was well-informed of Sadyrkulov's
activities at the time of his death, because he was one of
Sadyrkulov's three closest friends. Regarding Sadyrkulov's
relationship with Oksana Malevanaya, the current head of the
Presidential Secretariat, Akun said that they had been close,
"if you consider having children together close." However,
Malevanaya and Sadyrkulov had a falling out shortly before
Sadyrkulov resigned as the President's Chief of Staff and
left the government. According to Akun, Sadyrkulov opposed
on principle the idea of setting up a Presidential
Secretariat.

Sadyrkulov's Mistake
--------------------

5. (C) Akun said that he maintained good relationships with
the opposition, and for that reason, Bakiyev had asked him to
broker a deal with Ata Meken following the 2007 Parliamentary
elections. Akun said that Ata Meken honestly won 30 seats in
the Parliament, but Sadyrkulov told him to go to Omurbek
Tekebayev, the head of the Ata Meken Party, and offer him 12
seats. Tekebayev refused, and requested 20 seats, but before
Sadyrkulov could respond, Bakiyev intervened, and decided
that Ata Meken should not have any seats in the Parliament.
Akun said that allowing Ata Meken to be shut out of the
Parliament had been one of Sadyrkulov's biggest mistakes.


BISHKEK 00000071 002.2 OF 002


6. (C) Akun said that he would soon send his annual report
on human rights to Parliament, and that it would highlight
the judicial harassment of political opposition members, and
also discuss illegal actions taken by government leaders
during the Presidential campaign and election. When the
Ambassador asked him if the report would include everything
that he had just discussed, he smiled, and said that he is
just a man, and he has to survive to do his job.

He's Bad, but Good
------------------

7. (C) At a separate meeting, the Ambassador talked with
former Foreign Minister during the Akayev regime, Askar
Aitmatov, about the current state of the political
opposition. Aitmatov said that the opposition was in
complete disarray, directly blaming President Bakiyev's
efforts to stifle it. In the same breath, Aitmatov
complimented President Bakiyev for being a strong leader and,
curiously, indicated that the political opposition also
viewed him positively because he had so successfully
consolidated political power over the country.

Comment
-------

8. (C) Akun has a lengthy history as both a human rights
activist and as a publicity seeker. He claims, with some
truth, that he has been successful as an advocate for victims
of government corruption and persecution. However, according
to sources in the NGO community, Akun is not above selling
his services to families in search of lighter sentences for
their sons or daughters. Akun is more willing to criticize
publicly the government's human rights shortcomings than any
other government official, but he steers well clear of any
criticism of President Bakiyev or his family in public. Akun
sees himself as a bridge between the government and the
democracy and human rights communities.
GFOELLER

=======================CABLE ENDS============================

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