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Kyrgyz partners WECF appeal for help and support for victims of violence

After yesterday’s referendum president Otunbayeva promises help before winter sets in - Urgent help needed to provide humanitarian aid and help the victims of rape

28.06.2010 |WECF Call for Support

Utrecht/Osh, June 28, 2010 - WECF and its Kyrgyz partners appeal for humanitarian aid and support for victims of violence. Especially women and children are victims of this tragedy and, as confirmed by staff of WECF partner organizations and the International Red Cross, mass rapes of young women have taken place.


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After two revolutions in five years, and the worst ethnic unrest for two decades, Kyrgyzstan is now trying to stabilize the conflict situation following yesterday’s referendum. So far, the world appears not to have taken much notice. Officials say up to 2000 civilians may have been killed during the riots this month. The number of those officially registered as dead rose to 289.

Women victims of violence
One of WECF’s partner organizations is based in Osh, the city in the south, where many of the atrocities took place. Staff from WECF partner organisation CAAW (Central Asian Alliance for Water) told “Many women and young girls were raped. For example last week we found a girl, a pupil of the 9th grade, who was raped. Now her uterus is completely damaged, and we are not even talking about her mental state. Another young married girl was raped by almost a 100 men, she is now shocked and behaves like a zombie. They really need help especially medical and psychological help. From what we hear, rapes are still taking place, but officials are trying to keep this information out of the press to avoid further eruptions of violence .The details are horrendous, but I cannot keep silent, as a woman and mother”

Sascha Gabizon, Executive Director of WECF adds “Unfortunately the predominant culture in Central Asia will not allow them to marry and have a normal family life after having been raped. They will have to move to another region, if not they will have to live in shame for the rest of their life.”

WECF and CAAW have launched a call for support for donations. CAAW is providing humanitarian help for victims of violence. Money can be transferred directly to CAAW, based in the city of Osh, or to WECF. As staff of CAAW confirm ”CAAW can help victims directly, with medical care and psychological support, and trying to find long term solutions for these women and girls. 

Risk of water related diseases
The violence has also resulted in a greater risk of infectious diseases. Dead bodies were found in the water supply resources and the risk of water related diseases is increasing. Support is therefore also needed for safe water supply. As many houses were burned down, rebuilding of the houses before winter is a priority, for which the interim president Mrs Rosa Otunbayeva hopes to provide financial support. Most international aid organisations had halted their activities during the week violence, which is why CAAW was almost the only local organisation providing urgent humanitarian aid.  Fedde Jorritsma, WECFs project facilitator who lives in the capital Bishkek: "It is really terrible what is happening here.  As far as I know all partner’s staff is unharmed, but everyone knows someone who has been a victim these past two weeks.  People are sad and are ashamed for what has happened in their country”.

Referendum brings hope for peace and stability
Uzbekistan and the Kyrgyz government have tried to send refugees back to their villages, but the location of more than 75.000 refugees remains unknown, many are too scared to go back. Almost 70% of the population eligible to vote, took part in the referendum yesterday, and in great majority (>90%) voted to move from a presidential to a parliamentarian system. The results indicate that the majority of the population of Kyrgyzstan want peace and stability. After two revolutions against 2 presidents and their families, - accused of corruption and of instigating violence - Kyrgyz citizens of all ethnic backgrounds pin their hopes on a parliamentarian system. The referendum could bring historic change as Kyrgyzstan will be the first and only country among the five Central Asian countries, to move to a parliamentarian system. The referendum supports the position of Rosa Otunbayeva, who will be interim president for a year and a half, before handing over power to the parliament.

Central Asian Alliance for Water and Public Fund Mehr-Shavkat, based in Osh, works on increasing the living standards of rural population by creating access to water supply, sanitation and hygiene education in the ethnical mixed rural communities of Southern Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and in Tajikistan, with a focus on women’s participation.

WECF’s work in Kyrgyzstan
The environmental and women’s network WECF, Women in Europe for a Common Future, has seven partner organizations in Kyrgyzstan, who are working on poverty reduction and improving basic living standards, including implementation of renewable energy and energy efficiency measures such as domestic solar collectors, insulation of houses, water supply and sanitation for schools and rural households in the Central Asian republic and advocating work for enabling policies.

Note for the editors:
For more information, please contact:
Mrs. Chantal van den Bossche, press officer WECF +31-6.2812 9992,

Links on WECF’s work in Kyrgyzstan:

If you would like to support CAAW’s work in Kyrgyzstan, you can transfer money to:

Account    1180000013382873
Name: Central Asian Alliance for Water
Name of the bank: Demir Kyrgyz International Bank
245 Chui Avenue, Bishkek
“DKIB-Osh” Branch
Address bank: 180 “A”  Kurmanjan-datka str, Osh city, Kyrgyz Republic

WECF the Netherlands
Bank account 1266.4511, WECF
IBAN NL96RABO01266451 16
Or donate online

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