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Yearbook 2008

Kyrgyzstan. After the big victory in the parliamentary elections before the New Year, the power party Ak Zjol in January decided to limit the right of expression in parliament. Only group leaders, committee chairs, presidents and proposers would debate, which was condemned by the opposition.

2008 Kyrgyzstan

In February, an investigation report found that the Uzbek security service was probably behind the assassination of regime-critical journalist Alizier Saipov in Kyrgyzstan the year before. According to the International Crisis Group (ICG), there were "strong indications" that Saipov was murdered by Uzbekistan's security service.

The year 2008 was announced as Ajtmatov's year to honor the country's most famous author, Chingiz Ajtmatov. But he died during the summer just before he was 80 years old. In Soviet times, Ajtmatov was mentioned as a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize, and at independence in 1991, Kyrgyzstan wanted to make him president but he declined.

In August, a group of doctors and nurses were sentenced to multi-year prison sentences accused of having infected children with HIV at a hospital in southern Kyrgyzstan. The convicted, who would also pay large damages to the children and their families, claimed that the tragedy was due to the hospital's poor conditions. According to the prosecutor, over 40 children and some mothers had been infected through neglect in connection with injections and blood transfusions. According to foreign aid workers, similar scandals are common but are rarely discovered because HIV infection is a taboo topic in the strongly Muslim Kyrgyzstan.

According to Countryaah reports, many deaths were required in a couple of disasters during the year. In August, about 70 people died when a passenger plane crashed after taking off from the airport outside Bishkek. It was the worst air crash in the country since independence. In October, at least 72 people were killed in an earthquake, which had its center in southern Kyrgyzstan but was known across much of Central Asia.

In November, Parliament passed a law that, according to critics, meant a number of restrictions on religious freedom. The law was portrayed as a measure against terrorism, but according to Christian leaders, it was aimed, among other things, at people who shift beliefs, especially from Islam to Christianity.

In November, about 1,500 people gathered for a government-critical demonstration in the city of Talas, where opposition supporters demanded the resignation of President Kurmanbek Bakijev. According to the organizers, opposition activists had been subjected to threats and violence before the protest.

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