More than 30 people accused of a coup plot have been arrested in Kyrgyzstan, the national security service said Tuesday.
The impoverished Central Asian country with ties to Russia and China has seen three presidents resign over political crises fuelled by corruption, nepotism and disputed votes since gaining independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
The GKNB state security agency said it dismantled the preparations of a group of people planning to organise riots “in order to seize power by force”, adding that more than 30 people were arrested on Monday.
The arrests come just days after a visit to Kyrgyzstan by European Council President Charles Michel, during which President Sadyr Japarov pledged his “readiness to work hand in hand with the European Union”.
While this mountainous country has long enjoyed a relatively free press and political pluralism in a region where expression remains restricted, NGOs are denouncing an increase in pressure against the media and civil society.