Kyrgyzstan breathed a collective sigh of relief on October 10, when parliamentary elections were held in a peaceful atmosphere. But an ugly incident outside an Osh courthouse on October 13 served as a reminder that the Central Asian nation has a long way to go before the trauma of last June’s violence in southern Kyrgyzstan fully heals.
The Osh incident involved friends and relatives of a Kyrgyz traffic police officer murdered in the Uzbek neighborhood of Cheremushki in June. Just before the opening of a trial session, they took the law into their own hands, attacking an ethnic Uzbek defendant, along with three relatives of the accused. “They pulled my hair, they beat me, and they kicked me,” 53-year-old Asalkhon Ismeddinova, an aunt of one defendant, told EurasiaNet.org at Osh City Hospital following the attack. She had difficulty speaking due to a swollen jaw, and her face was covered in cuts and scratches.
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Alina Dalbaeva contributed reporting.