NewsKyrgyzstan's President alters nation's flag, sparks public outcry and blogger's arrest

Kyrgyzstan's President alters nation's flag, sparks public outcry and blogger's arrest

Sadyr Japarov changed the flag of Kyrgyzstan.
Sadyr Japarov changed the flag of Kyrgyzstan.
Images source: © PAP, Wikimedia
6:13 AM EST, December 25, 2023

"In the head of state's view, the current version of the sun on the flag strongly resembled a sunflower. Azattyk Radio, the Kyrgyz branch of Radio Free Europe, reported that the head of state's decision has been met with public bewilderment."

Under the new revisions, the sun's rays on the Kyrgyzstan flag will no longer emit waves, but instead will be straight.

Public acceptance of the president's initiative has been sluggish. The citizens of Kyrgyzstan have even begun gathering signatures for a petition, demand to uphold the current flag design.

"Nevertheless, the country's parliament failed to consider this public sentiment, and on December 20th, passed a law to change the shape of the sun on the flag," states an article on the Azattyk Radio's website.

Blogger detained amid controversy

Independent Russian television station, Nastojaszczeje Wriemia, reports that Blogger Aftandil Zhorobekov, a public detractor of the head of the state's initiative, was apprehended by Kyrgyz security services.

Located in Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan, is a country established post the Soviet Union disintegration and is home to around 6.2 million people. Until recently, it was seen as the most democratic state in the region. Distinguishing itself from its post-Soviet peers, Kyrgyzstan's parliamentary and presidential elections were conducted in strict accordance with international standards without predetermined results and nonhereditary power.

However, ever since Japarov took office as president in early 2021, authoritarian tendencies have been escalating. The new leader has instigated changes leading to a gradual centralization of power and limiting the parliament's role. Violations of human rights and media freedom have also increasingly come to light recently.

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