Kazakhstan ‘s state television channels Qazaqstan and Khabar 24 posted on their social networks a video of a detainee who allegedly flew in from Kyrgyzstan and received 90,000 tenge (approximately 15.6 thousand rubles) for participating in the protests.
According to the hero of the video, on January 1, “strangers” contacted him, who offered to take part in the rally. When he agreed, unknown persons paid for his flight to Almaty and placed him in an apartment with citizens of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The detainee explained his consent to participate in the protests by the fact that he was “unemployed”. According to the footage of the video, the man was beaten.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kyrgyzstan “together with the competent authorities” of the republic is clarifying the circumstances of “the fact of the arrest of this citizen,” the ministry’s press service said after the video was published. Other compatriots on the territory of Kazakhstan were urged by the Foreign Ministry to comply with the laws of the country and “not to succumb to provocations.”
In turn, the Kyrgyz media and telegrams – channels reported that the video – pianist, leader of the jazz orchestra from Bishkek Ruzahunov Vikram, who often toured in Almaty. He was recognized by his relatives, including his sister and mother , as well as colleagues .
According to relatives of Ruzakhunov, the musician was tortured, he is being held in an unknown place. They cannot contact him, oppose the accusations against Ruzakhunov and are going to apply to the Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry.
A friend of the musician, singer Yulia Rutskaya recorded a video message in which she confirmed that Ruzakhunov was filmed in the video. According to her, all the confessions he made in the video are fake. Rutskaya asked the law enforcement agencies, the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kyrgyzstan to take measures and protect the pianist from “lawlessness and meat grinder”, in which, according to the singer, the law enforcement agencies of Kazakhstan are trying to involve him.
A rally in defense of Ruzakhunov began at the Kazakh embassy in Bishkek . About 20 of his colleagues and supporters are demanding to understand the situation. The head of the State Committee for National Security of Kyrgyzstan Kamchybek Tashiev came to the protesters . He said that the musician is not a terrorist, and admitted that those who are investigating against Ruzakhunov “were either mistaken or wanted to curry favor.” In connection with the detention of the pianist, Kyrgyzstan sent a note to Kazakhstan, the head of the State Committee for National Security announced .
The press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kyrgyzstan, citing Ruzakhunov’s relatives, reported that the musician really flew to Kazakhstan on the evening of January 2, where he was invited “to hold concert programs.” At the same time, a ticket to Almaty was purchased on December 16. The ministry also confirmed that earlier Ruzakhunov traveled to Kazakhstan only to hold concerts and participate in music festivals. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kyrgyzstan is conducting an investigation into the arrest of Ruzakhunov.
“We are concerned about publications in a number of foreign media outlets in which they try to portray the jazz musician from Kyrgyzstan Vikram Ruzakhunov as a destructive element who came to Kazakhstan supposedly to participate in rallies,” said press secretary of the Kyrgyz President Erbol Sultanbaev. The Kyrgyz authorities hope that the competent authorities of Kazakhstan will conduct a thorough investigation and find out the reasons for the incident.
After the detainee was recognized from the video as a Kyrgyz musician, the Kazakh telegram channel Nekhabar, referring to “representatives of power structures,” wrote that the information about Ruzakhunov was untrue, and the man in the video was 31-year-old Zakir Uburov.