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№ 20 (64) October 2007
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On the eve of the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Kyrgyzstan, the government of the country was in the midst of another spy scandal. This time they caught the “Chinese spy”, and right on the threshold of the meetings of the ministers of defense of the SCO member states in Bishkek. On June 22, 2007, the General Prosecutor’s Office of Kyrgyzstan sanctioned the arrest of a senior consultant to the parliament’s press service, Zhyparkul Arykova. Earlier, she was charged under Article 302, Part 1 of the Criminal Code of the country “Transfer or collection of information constituting official secrets with a view to transferring to foreign organizations”, punishment of which implies up to three years in prison. Now the prosecution is retrained. Zhyparkul Arykova is charged with new charges under Article 292 “High treason” of the Criminal Code. This article says: “Treason, that is, issuing state secrets or otherwise assisting a foreign state or a foreign organization in carrying out hostile activities to the detriment of the external security of the Kyrgyz Republic, committed by a citizen of the Kyrgyz Republic” (punished by imprisonment for a term of 12 to 20 years with confiscation of property).

According to the local information agency “24”, the second detainee on June 19, 2007, during a special operation of the special services of Kyrgyzstan, together with Zhyparkul Arykova, is a citizen of the People's Republic of China. The Prosecutor General’s Office also sanctioned his arrest, and the investigation charged him under Article 293 “Spying” of the Criminal Code of the Kyrgyz Republic. The Investigation Department of the State Committee for National Security confirmed all the above information, but declined to comment, stressing that the investigation would be closed to the press because it was classified as “secret”. Therefore, the name of a citizen of the People’s Republic of China, its status is still unknown. Is he an employee of the Chinese Embassy in Kyrgyzstan?

But one thing is clear that the spy scandal, on the eve of the SCO summit in Bishkek, will only harm bilateral relations between China and Kyrgyzstan. It can be said that the summit will fail, given how zealous the espionage scandal is unleashing the local authorities. It is unlikely that the Chinese authorities will appreciate such zeal.

One can only wonder at the ability of the government of Kyrgyzstan to get into such unpleasant situations. This is not the first spy scandal in the country after the Tulip Revolution. At one time, the government of Kurmanbek Bakiyev accused two representatives of the US embassy in Kyrgyzstan of being incompatible with diplomatic status. It all ended with the expulsion of diplomats and the cooling of bilateral relations.

Opinions on this issue of political leaders, deputies and politicians of Kyrgyzstan are very different, but everyone is surprised by the availability of secret information in the press service of parliament. Deputies of parliament express their bewilderment in connection with another espionage scandal in the country's parliament. “It is quite possible to blame many people for high treason who were or are in power in Kyrgyzstan,” deputy of the country's parliament Temir Sariev told reporters. “It turned out that a person who is a citizen of a foreign country works in the country's Security Council. All the evidence was presented on it, but then we were told that our country has no secrets. ” We are talking about the former Deputy Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Daniyar Usenov, who had Kazakh citizenship.

MP Temir Sariev also in an interview with local media recalled that Kyrgyzstan and China are members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. “Therefore, the accusation that China is spying in Kyrgyzstan is very serious, especially on the eve of the SCO summit in Bishkek. I think that the employees of the National Security Service of Kyrgyzstan should act very carefully in this matter, ”he stressed.

“I am surprised by the presence of secret information in the Kyrgyz parliament,” said Tolekan Ismailova, head of the Citizens Against Corruption Center. According to the vice-speaker Kubanychbek Isabekov, she did not even have access to secret documents, because there is no such press service: “In general, the press service, even its leaders, do not even have access to official documents. You can verify the conditions in which our secret documents are stored. This is a separate, isolated room, where all security measures are observed, starting from the grating and ending with the alarm system. ”

The current “spy scandal” is already the fifth in a row in the last three years. In the country's parliament, this is the second spy scandal. In 2003, the head of the department of international cooperation, diplomatic protocol and passport and visa support for the Kyrgyz parliament Bakyt Beketaev, the National Security Service of Kyrgyzstan accused him of using his official position to illegally issue fake invitations for accomplices of international terrorism, and on their arrival in Bishkek he passport of a citizen of the Kyrgyz Republic. After that, he sent the newly minted citizens of Kyrgyzstan to third countries. True, no one proved his guilt then.

“In 2003, the National Security Service investigators in all seriousness called me the accomplice of Bin Laden and the entire Taliban movement in Afghanistan. I was dragged for interrogation for more than four months. All this time I have not worked. They were right in the office, saying that during the investigation we are obliged to remove you from your post. In the end, the security services failed to show me anything or accuse me of spies. Although during interrogations they said: let us put you as a spy. It is now I laugh, but then it was not a joke. Imagine the state of my family and friends? Given the fact that, of course, I did not prepare any fake invitations and documents, ”recalls Bakyt Beketayev in an interview with local media.

A year later, a “spy network” was uncovered in the Ministry of the Interior. A number of employees of the Secretariat of the Ministry of Interior were prosecuted. If the fault of the senior consultant of the press service of the Kyrgyz parliament, Zhyparkul Arykova, is proven, then she could face up to three years in prison.

Kyrgyz ombudsman Tursunbai Bakir uulu commented on the spy scandal in parliament with irony in the sense that if the special services and the foreign ministry of the country were conducting official correspondence in the state language of Kyrgyzstan, and not in Russian, which is known to many in the world, few could to explore state secrets in Kyrgyzstan. Tursunbai Bakir uulu believes that the search for spies is nothing more than a game before the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. “For some reason, before previous similar international events in the same China or other countries, no spies were detected. And in Kyrgyzstan found. And what to look for them, if all our state secrets are issued by officials through the media, ”the human rights activist emphasized.

The top officials of the country have not yet commented on the spy scandal in parliament. Surely, understanding what an unpleasant story they got on the threshold of the SCO summit in Bishkek, in August of this year. As is known, the main actors in the SCO are China and Russia. They, too, have so far refrained from commenting. In general, the new authorities of the country have the rare ability to spoil relations with key partners of Kyrgyzstan.
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