News / Asia

People in Kyrgyzstan Mourn Those Killed in Protests

Baylen Forcier, via Skype
Baylen Forcier, via Skype

Multimedia

Residents of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan's capital, gathered Friday to mourn some 75 people killed in an uprising against the government.  The opposition leader has named herself interim president, but the current president refuses to step down.  VOA's Carolyn Presutti brings us exclusive pictures from Bishtek, along with words from an American living there.

These are the streets of Bishkek, as seen through the lens of an American who lives there.  Baylen Forcier provided these exclusive pictures to the Voice of America.

Here are the scorched walls of Kryrgyzstan's presidential palace.  And, flowers for the more than 75 killed in the political protests on Wednesday.   

This was once the general prosecutor's office, now smoldering.  

The drujniki - common people - march in the streets now, to stop looting and restore calm to the nation's capital.

Forcier spoke to us from Bishkek via skype. "It's just amazing how you walk by something everyday and all of a sudden it's gone. In a matter of two days, the government is overthrown and Biskek has definitely changed physically.," he said.

At a memorial service in the same square where many died, anger at President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who fled the capital.

The protests have now moved to southern Kyrgyzstan, Mr. Bakiyev's stronghold. The president says he will not step down. "Nine months ago, 80 percent of the people, the population, voted for me and things cannot change so quickly," he said.

Opposition leader Rosa Otenbayeva said her government will guarantee his safety if he resigns. "We will have no negotiations on this matter.  The death of 75 people is the answer to any of his attempts to come back."

Otunbayeva has said the U.S. airbase in Kyrgyzstan will remain open.

The base supports NATO efforts in Afghanistan.

Ravshan Djeyenbekov helped get Mr.Bakiyev elected, and then joined an opposition party. He says the base is in jeopardy, given the opposition group's close ties to Russia. "One of the main conditions to get money from Russia will be the American military base," he said.

For now, residents and Westerners too are not clear who is in charge.

VOA-TV Correspondent Carolyn Presutti did a Skype interview with American Baylen Forcier, who lives in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan. The interview was done Thursday, April 8. This was one day after the violent protests that left at least 75 dead and hundreds injured. Earlier Thursday Forcier spent four hours outside, walking on the streets of Bishkek and relates what he saw there to Presutti.


Carolyn Presutti

Carolyn Presutti is an Emmy and Silver World Medal award winning television correspondent who works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters.   She has also won numerous Associated Press awards and a Clarion for her coverage of The Syrian Medical Crisis, Haiti, The Boston Marathon Bombing, Presidential Politics, The Southern Economy, and The 9/11 Bombing Anniversary.  In 2013, Carolyn aired exclusive stories on the Asiana plane crash and was named VOA’s chief reporter with Google Glass.

You can follow Carolyn on Twitter at CarolynVOA, on Google Plus and Facebook.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid