Kyrgyz national TV station damaged by protestors

by Andy Sennitt.

Opposition leaders have begun talks with the government, an unidentified TV presenter has said on Kyrgyz TV, which was seized by opposition protesters in the afternoon on 7 April.

“[Leader of the opposition Ak-Shumkar Party] Temir Sariyev, [the leader of the opposition Social Democratic Party] Almaz Atambayev, [MP] Isa Omurkulov and Turat Madylbekov [leader of the opposition Ata-Meken Party for northern Chuy Region], as well as Duyshonkul Chotonov [a leader of Ata-Meken Party] were released from [a detention centre] today. They have now begun talks with members of the presidential office, as President Kurmanbek Bakiyev and Prime Minister Daniyar Usenov are absent [from their offices]. We are waiting for the outcome of the talks, which are expected to finish in half an hour or an hour,” an unidentified TV presenter said.

He also said the national Kyrgyz TV First Channel’s main building had been seriously damaged for this reason this programme was going on the air from the state-run public broadcaster ElTR channel’s studio.

“We are going on air on First Channel through ElTR because KTR [Kyrgyz National Television and Radio Broadcasting Corporation] has been damaged seriously. We must not allow this to continue further because this is public property,” the unidentified presenter said.

A representative of the Kyrgyz national TV channel, Dinara, said in a live interview that National TV was continuing broadcasts from a nearby studio.

“The situation in the republic is really ambiguous. You might be aware of this. The national First Channel is continuing broadcasting to the whole of the country in a state of emergency because almost all the equipment in the main office of this channel at Molodaya Gvardiya Avenue [in Bishkek] has been looted and damaged. We have now only one studio Zamana - a reserve studio designed for morning programmes, from where we are now broadcasting,” Dinara said.