The appointment of Roza Otunbaeva as head of state for a transition period of a year and a half is an attempt to ensure Kyrgyzstan has a strong hand on the tiller until the planned political reforms have taken root. The reasons for elevating Otunbaeva, named as acting prime minister in the administration that came to power in early April, are understandable. There are, however, also a number of problems and potential pitfalls associated with the decision. The interim government took control following the popular unrest of April 6 and 7, which swept former president Kurmanbek Bakiev from power.

 Islamic fundamentalism, already strong in southern Kyrgyzstan, might get a boost from the country’s current political uncertainties, following the ouster of President Kurmanbak Bakiyev who was replaced by a caretaker government.

Feminist concern about the violation of women’s rights by male clerics in Muslim countries is slowly producing a response from some states. At the same time, rights activists are increasingly reporting examples of clerics who are standing up for women’s rights. This isn’t about the progressive male and female scholars that are increasingly visible in the Muslim world, nor about the occasional female imam; it’s about male preachers on the streets and in the villages.

The popular revolt in Kyrgyzstan that toppled Bakiyev two days ago was so sudden and ferocious that nobody has had a chance to give it a name yet. But it would be plausible to dub it the fir tree revolution – after the presidential shrubs taken and loaded into taxis. Kyrgyzstan's opposition parties declared they had formed a new interim government, after a day of mayhem on yesterday when security force snipers and riot police opened fire on unarmed demonstrators as they tried to storm the main government building in the capital, Bishkek. At least 75 people were killed and 300 more injured. Update to Kyrgyzstan: State of emergency declared as clashes escalat.

Anti-government protests in Kyrgyzstan have escalated violently, with 17 people killed as police clashed with demonstrators in the capital, Bishkek. Protesters attacked President Kurmanbek Bakiyev's offices and stormed the state TV and radio headquarters, taking them briefly off air. There are reports police fired live rounds after failing to disperse people with tear gas and stun grenades. President Bakiyev has declared a state of emergency in protest-hit areas.

Policiers et membres de l'opposition se sont affrontés, mercredi 7 avril, dans les rues de Bichkek, la capitale du Kirghizistan, après l'arrestation, la veille, de trois chefs de l'opposition kirghize. Entre 3 000 et 5 000 manifestants de l'opposition ont forcé les forces de l'ordre à battre en retraite et se sont ensuite rassemblés devant la présidence kirghize pour réclamer la démission du chef de l'Etat, Kourmanbek Bakiev. Au moins douze personnes auraient trouvé la mort lors des affrontements. Le ministre de l'intérieur a été tué dans la ville de Talas ; le premier ministre a décrété l'état d'urgence dans tout le pays.

Eight out of ten divorces in Kyrgyzstan involve brides who were “stolen” by their husbands, women’s rights groups say.
Women's Learning Partnership is pleased to share that Tolekan Ismailova was released after a local tribunal found she had not violated laws of public assembly.
Tolekan Ismailova, Director of WLP Kyrgyzstan/Human Rights Center "Citizens Against Corruption" was among at least four people who were detained in Bishkek on March 18.
Linking the hijab controversy to fears of Muslim extremism may be counter-productive. “We face a difficult choice – take the headscarf off or give up on school,” said Sahiba Yusupova.
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