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Shortly after storming the White House, protesters freed former Kyrgyz president Almazbek Atambayev, sentenced to 11 years for corruption, as well as his former chief of staff and ex-PM Sapar Isakov, who was serving a lengthy prison sentence on an array of corruption and embezzlement charges.
Kyrgyzstan is a Central Asian state that gained independence in 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, however the country has been marred by a series of successive coups over the last fifteen years. In 2005, the country’s first president, Askar Akayev, was ousted in the ‘Tulip Revolution’ after almost 15 years in power. Another coup in April 2010 saw then-president Kurmanbek Bakiyev being toppled amid violent unrest.
The White House in Bishkek played a central symbolic role in the unrest both in 2005 and 2010. The fire that broke out during the 2010 turmoil decimated portions of the building, partially destroying government archives.
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