27 Feb 2020 19:08

Ex-Kyrgyz President Atambayev writing memoirs in jail

BISHKEK. Feb 27 (Interfax) - Former Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev is writing a book of memoirs in the National Security Committee jail where he is imprisoned, lawyer Sergei Slesarev told Interfax on Thursday.

"Almazbek Atambayev is writing a book of memoirs about his childhood, youth, and events in life unrelated to his political activities," Slesarev said.

Atambayev's jail conditions do not prevent him from using notebooks and pens, Slesarev said.

"Almazbek Atambayev has been provided with notebooks, pens, and pencils so that he can write a book. It's unclear so far what length it's going to be," he said.

Atambayev still occasionally suffers from drops in blood pressure, Slesarev said.

"He feels fair, but his blood pressure drops occasionally in the morning and in the evening," he said.

Earlier reports said Atambayev's health had worsened in jail. The office of the Kyrgyz human rights commissioner said that the ex-president had needed to seek medical attention due to low blood pressure.

On August 7, the special operations forces of Kyrgyzstan's State Committee for National Security attempted to detain Atambayev in the village of Koi-Tash 20 kilometers from the country's capital of Bishkek, leading to clashes with the ex-president's supporters. One special forces officer died from a gunshot wound. Six special forces officers were taken hostage and released the next day. The clashes continued on August 8 when the special forces undertook another attempt to detain the former president. Following this, Atambayev surrendered to the law enforcement agencies and was arrested.

As many as 225 people, among them 91 Interior Ministry officers and 40 officers of the Kyrgyz State Committee for National Security, were injured in the August 7-8 events.

Atambayev is charged with several serious crimes, including organization of mass unrest and attempted murder, as well as corruption and profiteering. He is also the main suspect in the case opened into the illegal release of crime boss Aziz Batukayev in 2013.

A court imposed a freeze on the assets of the former president and his family.