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Kyrgyzstan: ICRC concerned about response to violence

09-04-2010 News Release 10/58

Bishkek (ICRC) – Two days after the violent clashes in Bishkek and other Kyrgyz cities, the situation remains uncertain and tense throughout the country, with reports of looting and violence, centered mostly in Bishkek, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said today.

" We are concerned about possible acts of revenge and further looting, " said Claudia Azzolini, head of the ICRC mission in Kyrgyzstan. " We once again call on all concerned to respect life and human dignity at all times. Security forces must apply international standards governing the use of force in their efforts to restore law and order. Firearms may only be used exceptionally, when strictly necessary, in particular for self defence or to prevent a particularly serious crime involving grave threat to life. "

Bishkek health facilities had already been flooded by hundreds of wounded in recent days, and the Kyrgyz Ministry of Health reports that at least 14 more people with weapon injuries have arrived in the last 24 hours. ICRC teams continue to deliver supplies to the capital's health facilities. .A joint ICRC/Kyrgyz Red Crescent team arrived in the northern city of Talas today, Friday 9 April, to provide local hospitals with first-aid kits, following reports that clashes had resulted in an influx of casualties.

The ICRC will continue to support medical facilities and to assess the security and humanitarian situation in the major towns.

  For further information, please contact:
  Claudia Azzolini or Séverine Chappaz, ICRC Bishkek, tel: +996 312 300772
  Marçal Izard, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 79 217 3224