6 Feb 2018 13:32

Kyrgyz opposition members convicted of coup plot go on hunger strike

BISHKEK. Feb 6 (Interfax) - Kyrgyz opposition politicians Bektur Asanov, Kubanychbek Kadyrov, and Ernest Karybekov, who are serving prison sentences after being convicted of an attempt to seize power and organize a coup in Kyrgyzstan, have started a hunger strike, the Kyrgyz State Penitentiary Service told Interfax on Tuesday.

The three are satisfactorily healthy and are under the surveillance of medical staff at Penitentiary No. 47, where they are serving their term, the penitentiary's press service said.

"The participants in this political action in the form of a hunger strike undergo daily medical checkups. Their vital signs are normal," it said.

The politicians are taking neither food nor water, it said.

Human rights activists supporting the men told Interfax that Asanov, Karybekov, and Kadyrov are staging this political action to protest the "arbitrariness of the judicial system" and demand the resignation of Kyrgyz special service chief Abdil Segizbayev.

The court "did not find any convincing evidence proving the politicians' involvement in the attempt to organize a coup and violently seize power and handed down a predetermined conviction. A hunger strike is the only way to draw attention to this problem," he said.

In the spring and the summer of 2016, the Kyrgyz State Committee for National Security detained a number of opposition figures and accused them of plotting to seize power violently.