Posted: 23 Apr 2010Commentary, 23 Apr 2010, James Kirchick: "[I]t isn't true that the United States government was fully behind Bakiyev, a complaint I often heard on the streets. Last year's State Department Human Rights report strongly criticized Bakiyev's regime for a variety of abuses, including 'restrictions on citizens'right to change their government,' 'arbitrary arrest and detention,' and 'pervasive corruption.' U.S.-government-funded organizations like the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute have long supported democracy-building and civil-society programs. Perhaps most significant of all has been Radio Azattyk, the Kyrgyz-language service of the congressionally funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, which is the most trusted news outlet in the country thanks to its coverage of corruption, human rights violations, and everyday political developments. Nearly every person I speak to in Kyrgyzstan beams at the mention of its name. Indicative of this popularity is that the morning after Bakiyev escaped to the south, the chief of Azattyk's Bishkek bureau became head of state television."
Copyright 2006–2019 Kim Andrew Elliott.