Kyrgyzstan. During the year, a bitter political battle
was fought over the mining of the large gold deposits in the
Tian Shan Mountains. There, the Kumtor mine accounts for
half of the poor country's exports, and a growing opinion
called for Kyrgyzstan's share of the profits to increase, as
well as compensation for environmental degradation that is
said to jeopardize the health of the local population.
Countryaah, Parliament demanded in February that the government
should renegotiate the agreement with Canadian mining
company Centerra Gold, which controlled 67% of the mine and
was considered to have a too low tax rate.
Three opposition politicians from the Fatherland (Ata-Zjurt)
were brought to trial for a demonstration in the capital
Bishkek the year before, when they demanded the
nationalization of the Kumtor mine, the dissolution of
parliament and the election. Now a series of protests,
partly on horseback, were carried out in support of the
three politicians and demanding the dissolution of
Parliament. The three were sentenced to prison between one
year and 18 months accused of causing public riots and
trying to overthrow the government.
In May, activists who closed the electricity supply to
the mine were arrested, and violent protests ensued. Police
went in with shock grenades, tear gas and rubber bullets -
many people were injured and many were arrested. President
Almazbek Atambayev introduced a state of emergency in the
district, but the protests spread south, where the
governor's regional office in Dzjalal-Abad stormed with
demands for the release of the three imprisoned politicians.
The protesters appointed the leader of the protest as "the
people's governor", but he was arrested by police.
The three opposition leaders were acquitted by an appeals
court in June, but the acquittal was appealed by
prosecutors, and the Supreme Court ruled that the three were
guilty. They did not have to return to prison but were
deprived of their mandate in Parliament. The convicts
claimed that the verdict was political.
A government envoy to the mining region in October was
taken hostage by activists on horseback who demanded the
nationalization of the Kumtorg mine. He was threatened with
life, but police with tear gas dispelled the protesters who
were arrested and charged.
The government negotiated a new agreement with the mining
company, where both parties would own 50% of the Kumtorg
mine. However, the opposition demanded nationalization or at
least 67% state ownership. President Atambayev, who termed
the violent protests as terrorism, said that Kumtor could
not be nationalized without major losses to the Kyrgyz
When the proposal for a new agreement was presented to
Parliament, it was rejected, and the majority of the elected
people voted for a demand of 67% state ownership. Thus, the
government was crowded, as the mining company demanded a
share of at least 50%.
The lawyer who defended the three indicted opposition
politicians was assaulted in November and badly beaten by
unknown perpetrators. He was taken unconscious to hospital.
At the end of the year, former President Achmatbek
Keldibekov was arrested on charges of abuse of power and
financial crimes. It led to violent demonstrations, in which
thousands of opposition supporters stormed a government
office in Osh and demanded Keldibekov's release.
President Atambayev signed a law at the beginning of the
year that increased the maximum penalty for bridesmaids to
seven years in prison, and up to ten years if the bride
abducted is younger than 17 years, minimum age for marriage.
In February, a verdict fell against former President
Kurmanbek Bakijev, who overthrew in 2010 and fled the
country. He was sentenced to 24 years in prison for abuse of
Kyrgyzstan decided that the agreement with the United
States on the Manas air base should be terminated and that
military use of the base should cease in 2014 as NATO forces
Parliament ratified an agreement with the Russian
Federation on the construction and operation of nine
hydroelectric plants in the Naryn River, a project
criticized by neighboring Uzbekistan, which fears less water
With China, a declaration on strategic partnership was
written, and it was decided on Chinese billion-dollar
investments in, among other things. gas pipeline and new
highway between northern and southern Kyrgyzstan.