There have been violent protests in the Central Asian country following allegations of manipulation in Kyrgyzstan’s parliamentary elections. Now protesters are said to have occupied the government seat in Bishkek.

After the parliamentary elections, protesters stormed important administrative buildings in the capital Bishkek in Central Asian Kyrgyzstan. Some of them are said to have broken into the White House, which houses the office and parliament of Head of State Sooronbay Dscheenbekov. The Akipress news agency reported this early Tuesday morning.

In addition, supporters of the imprisoned ex-president Almasbek Atambayev are said to have freed the 64-year-old from a prison run by the National Security Committee. An eyewitness confirmed to AFP news agency that Atambayev had been released from his cell in the National Security Committee building in Bishkek “without violence and without the use of weapons”.

The riots in the ex-Soviet republic started Monday as thousands protested against manipulation during last weekend’s parliamentary elections. Protesters climbed gates to the parliament building and set cars on fire; Security forces used water cannons, tear gas and stun grenades against the crowd. After that, more than a hundred were injured.

The country was sometimes an island of democracy

Former head of state Atambayev was sentenced to about 11 years in prison for corruption in June. He is said to have helped a convicted criminal escape during his tenure. The Social Democrat led the impoverished country from 2011 to 2017. In 2019, his supporters fought street battles with security forces when they were arrested.

Kyrgyzstan was for a time an island of democracy amid authoritarian states in Central Asia. In the elections on Sunday there should have been manipulations such as buying votes.

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