Authorities in Kyrgyzstan must respect human rights

Amnesty International has called on those exercising authority in Kyrgyzstan to respect and protect human rights while restoring public order after three days of violent unrest reportedly left scores dead and hundreds injured. “Those in effective authority are responsible under national and international law to protect the lives and safety of everybody in Kyrgyzstan,” said Sian Jones, Europe and Central Asia Acting Deputy Programme Director. Opposition demonstrators in the capital Bishkek and other cities calling for the resignation of President Bakyev seized weapons from the police which led to violent confrontations and to the deaths of police officers, armed men and civilians. “There can be no excuse for the use of excessive force by police and security forces. The use of force is legitimate only where it is strictly necessary and proportionate,” Sian Jones said. The opposition has now reportedly taken control of the country and has dissolved parliament after announcing the formation of an interim government. Opposition leader Roza Otunbayeva told the media that the interim government is fully in control and has begun allocating ministerial positions. President Kurmanbek Bakiev was reported to have left the capital for the south of the country. It is not known whether he has resigned. Growing discontent among the population caused by rising prices in heating fuel and electricity deteriorated into violence on Tuesday in the city of Talas, following the arrest of an opposition leader who was later released.