Tensions Flare in Bishkek Kyrgyzstan: Mob Attacking pakistani Students Police Deployed

Police in riot gear were deployed in parts of Kyrgyzstan’s capital, Bishkek, overnight as large crowds gathered in response to an alleged altercation between locals and foreigners.

The crowds lingered around several intersections in Bishkek for hours before dispersing early Saturday. The Ministry of Internal Affairs reported that the situation was stable. Police engaged in negotiations with the protesters to prevent any confrontations.

This incident highlighted existing tensions regarding the presence of migrants in Kyrgyzstan, many of whom come from South Asia. In response, Kyrgyzstan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs is reportedly increasing monitoring and penalties for foreigners violating immigration laws, according to Kaktus Media.

The reported fight occurred at a hostel on May 13, and rumors quickly spread on social media. On Friday, people began gathering to express their dissatisfaction with what they perceived as lenient treatment of the foreigners involved. However, police stated that three foreigners had been detained on suspicion of hooliganism. The suspects appeared in a video, apologizing for the fight and accepting their punishment, as reported by AKIpress.

“All necessary measures were taken promptly. The individuals involved have been detained and legal action will be pursued against them,” said Azamat Toktonaliev, head of Bishkek’s Internal Affairs Directorate. He added that Kyrgyz citizens were invited to testify as witnesses and were not detained.

Kyrgyzstan has also expressed concern about the challenges faced by its citizens who travel to Russia for employment, where they often encounter official scrutiny and occasional harassment.

On Saturday, social media was flooded with grim videos showing violent mobs attacking foreigners, including Pakistani students, in Bishkek. The videos, which quickly went viral, falsely claimed multiple fatalities among Pakistani students. The Pakistani embassy, referencing the Kyrgyz government, denied these rumors but confirmed reports of “light injuries” to several Pakistani students.

The violence is believed to have been sparked by a harassment incident involving Egyptian female students on May 13. Mohammad Abdullah, a Pakistani medical student in Bishkek, told Geo News that the dispute began when Egyptian students confronted local students over the harassment. This confrontation escalated, leading to attacks on foreign students, including Pakistanis, across Bishkek.

Local media reported that a fight between local and foreign students broke out in a hostel on May 13, resulting in the detention of at least three foreigners. On May 17, locals protested in Bishkek, demanding action against the foreigners involved. The head of Bishkek’s Interior Affairs Directorate urged protesters to disperse.

Despite initial resistance, negotiations with the federal police led to the dispersal of the protesters. Three Egyptian citizens were detained and charged with hooliganism under Article 280, part 2, paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code of the Kyrgyz Republic.

During the brawls, 29 people were injured, with 15 taken to various hospitals. Among the injured was a Pakistani national with a fractured jaw, who was visited by Kyrgyz Minister of Health Alymkadyr Beishenaliev. Police and security forces called for calm as they dispersed the protesters.

The situation in Bishkek has since stabilized, with traffic on all roads restored and public order maintained.

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