31 March 2022
The Socialist International, the worldwide organisation of socialist, social democratic and labour parties, expresses its deep concern for the well-being of Almazbek Atambayev, the former president of Kyrgyzstan and former leader of the SI-member party in that country, the Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan, SDPK. Atambayev, who was first detained in 2019, has been suffering from ill health during his incarceration, and was sentenced in his absence to a jail term of 11 years and 2 months.
The detention, trial and sentencing of Almazbek Atambayev have not been conducted in line with the Kyrgyz Code of Criminal Procedure, in stark contravention of international judicial norms and the legal and human rights of the defendant. Despite Atambayev not attending court due to his ill health, the trial continued in a closed session, denying him the opportunity to properly defend himself. It is imperative that the former president is granted his full legal rights and that the procedures are held openly and transparently, free from political influence and interference.
The SI is further concerned by reports from family members who have visited Atambayev that he is being subject to mistreatment during his detention, corroborated by bruises found on his legs and arms by the National Center for the Prevention of Torture. He has also been forced in an inhumane manner by officers to stand barefoot in the snow dressed in only his underwear, exacerbating his health conditions, and brought to the court against his will in spite of his ill health. The Kyrgyz authorities must ensure that these allegations are fully investigated and appropriate action is taken to ensure the human rights of Almazbek Atambayev are guaranteed at all times.
The SI has closely followed recent political developments in Kyrgyzstan, both through the work of its regional committee, and by engaging in dialogue with various political actors in the country. It remains ready to contribute in any way it can to bring a positive solution to this deplorable situation, in order that justice may be allowed to take its course, and will continue to offer its support and solidarity to the SDPK in its efforts to advance the common objectives of socialists and social democratic parties around the world.