Kyrgyzstan: Viral videos Spark Fresh Conversation on Xenophobia
The footage has generated much online outrage.
A pair of video clips circulating online are reawakening difficult conversations in Kyrgyzstan about the seemingly unshakeable scourge of xenophobia.
One, which surfaced last week, shows an assault on a pair of Pakistani medical volunteers by a group of Kyrgyz men. Another was self-filmed by a group of Kyrgyz expatriates in Russia, who warn in the footage they will beat up any Kyrgyz women who date men of other ethnicities.
These episodes have sparked a furious reaction online among commenters expressing dismay over a kind of recurrent hostility to foreigners felt to be threatening the country’s social fabric and reputation for hospitality.
The assault on the Pakistani men, who are studying for medical degrees in Kyrgyzstan, occurred outside a resort complex near the village of Koi-Tash, just outside Bishkek. To begin with, one attacker warned the victims that they should leave the country.
“We asked him to calm down and leave us alone. But after some time, he came back, and not alone, but with five or six other guys,” one of the students, Shah Abbas Ali, toldKaktus website in an interview.
The assault left Abbas Ali with abrasions and a broken nose.
What has particularly aggrieved the public is that Abbas Ali had shortly before the incident volunteered at a drop-in center in Bishkek, to help the teetering healthcare system cope with the intensifying burden of the coronavirus emergency.
On July 21, police detained two suspects, men aged 30 and 31 years old.
Before the furor over that attack had died down, another video appeared online showing a gang of Kyrgyz men in Russia warning women to avoid starting relationships with foreign men.
“We do all kinds of jobs and we have many ethnic groups working with us – Uzbeks, Kyrgyz, all kinds. In these places, we invariably find Kyrgyz women. And we say to them, once, twice: If you do not obey, we will kick your ass,” the man in the video says. “We have gathered here because we are burning with pain for our Kyrgyz women. They go to nightclubs with other ethnicities, laughing the whole time.”
The men were later tracked down and questioned by representatives of the Kyrgyz Interior Ministry based in Russia.
In a subsequent direct-to-video statement circulated by the police, one of the men in the original video apologizes, albeit only very half-heartedly, for his words and warns fellow Kyrgyz men to refrain from whipping up trouble. He does not appear to specifically disavow his previous sentiments, though.
At least 800,000 Kyrgyz nationals are officially registered as working and living in Russia. In contrast with Uzbek and Tajik communities, that expatriate population includes large numbers of women, a fact that has occasionally given rise to tensions among chauvinist Kyrgyz men.
In 2012, for example, a self-styled patriotic group posted videos onlinein which women were seen being mocked and physically assaulted, and even tortured, for the perceived offense of being seen socializing with non-Kyrgyz males. Another wave of similar videos was posted online in 2015 and 2016, in which the women were insulted for their relations with Azerbaijani and Uzbek men.
The criticism also extends to women inside Kyrgyzstan deemed to have offended public morals for their relations with foreign men. In another high-profile case in 2017, also captured on camera, a young woman was punched in the face while out shopping at a bazaar in Bishkek with a male Afghan companion, who was threatened and told to “get out of Kyrgyzstan.”
Students from India and Pakistan, many of whom pursue medical studies in Kyrgyzstan, meanwhile, say they are regularly targeted for xenophobic attacks – not for dating Kyrgyz women, which they rarely do, but just for being foreigners.
According to Premier Sihle Zikalala, the province has not reached the resurgence threshold, although the number of cases has been fluctuating in the past week, with the province recording the higher number of 353 cases on Friday
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How to identify Fake News or Messages on Social Media
Beware of Fake News and Fake Messages on Social Media
Always follow websites or social media platforms of traditional media outlets whether newspapers, magazines,Television News Channels or Radio Stations and authentic online only media outlets.They still maintain journalism excellence and stress on reportorial talent.On the other hand, fake news websites run by people with non journalism background and promote their own ideology with fake news and disinformations and obviously conspiracy theories.
But unfortunately mainstream media also manipulates news to establish their story angle.There were various instances when News papers and TV Channels promoted fake news/conspiracy theories in the form of out of context or manipulated pictures/videos and distorted informations.
Always check the URL of any website.Some fake news websites look like the orginal and popular one the same layout,Logo but if you check the URL you may find extra words like if the orginal website's URL is www.xxx.com the duplicate one might be www.xxx.com.co or something like that so first check the URL for authentic informations.
Check whether photos are original or photoshopped.Check Google images for authenticity.You can find help from Google Reverse Images search.
Check the news sources from other websites whether they picked up the story or not.
Whether the website layout is little bit clumsy and obviously grammatical mistakes and spelling mistakes and excessive use of Sex related and sensational and hate stories.Because sex and hate sells.
Follow official websites relating to COVID-19
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COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates
Cold Weather and Snow can not kill the new coronavirus
Taking a Hot Bath Does Not Prevent COVID-19
COVID-19 Can not be transmitted through mosquito bites
Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill viruses that have already entered your body. Spraying such substances can be harmful to clothes or mucous membranes (i.e. eyes, mouth)
According to World Health Organization (WHO): Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water
Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth . If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early.
Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, until you recover.
Follow WHO guidelines
When you follow COVID-19 related news and messages from social media then check and recheck it before consuming it.Follow journalism mantra: if your mother says she loves you, check it out.
Most of the messages or informations quote different organizations like WHO, UNICEF, UNDP,Cambridge University or other well known institutes,organizations or individual to authenticate the messeges.Check official websites of these organizations if stories are repeated there
Forwarding messages from unknown sources or little known sources, it would be better to ignore it.
Check whether any logo like UNICEF or WHO or other organizations used in the messages which look similar to original logo.
These type of messages are full of Grammatical mistakes and spelling mistakes which are quite uncommon in original messages.
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Beware of Fake News or Fake Photos/Videos Relating to Communal Hatred
Always check the fact checking sites if you have some doubts about the authenticity of any information or picture.
The Same Method Applies to You Tube Videos Check the Source the credibility of the Source.To Check Fake You Tube Videos Check and Recheck the sources. Does the person have the legal right to the video posted? Did that person capture the video? Whether it has been altered?
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