The SI reiterates urgent call for medical attention for Almazbek Atambayev

14 May 2022

The Socialist International is critically concerned for the health and well-being of the former president of Kyrgyzstan, Almazbek Atambayev,  former leader of the Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan, SDPK, who has so far already served over one thousand days in prison.

On 31 March 2022 the SI made a public call for justice and for the protection of his health, and since then, the SI Secretary General visited President Atambayev in his cell in Kyrgyzstan and witnessed his startling decline in physical health.

The SI has appealed on a number of occasions to the government of Kyrgyzstan to ensure that the former president receives medical attention as a matter of the utmost urgency, but until this date, President Atambayev has received no medical care of any kind. The family of the former president, along with our global political family, is now gravely concerned for his life.

As the Socialist International has previously stated, 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. President Atambayev has not had the opportunity to defend himself, and is now too ill to properly attend the ongoing trial personally. He has also been subject to mistreatment and abuse in prison, which has been corroborated by bruises found on his legs and arms by the National Center for the Prevention of Torture.

Medical attention for prisoners is a fundamental human right. Such essential care is recognised by the United Nations, of which Kyrgyzstan is a member, in the UN Human Rights Charter, in the Basic Principles for the Treatment of Prisoners, adopted by the General Assembly in 1990, which states that prisoners should have access to health services without discrimination.

The Socialist International once again calls on the government of Kyrgyzstan to uphold its duty and responsibility, as it has pledged to do as a member of the United Nations and in line with the fundamental pillars of a democratic society, protecting the rights of their citizens, to immediately facilitate urgent medical attention and care to President Atambayev. The Socialist International will actively continue to monitor this situation and will not cease in its efforts to seek justice for Almazbek Atambayev.