It is with alarm that we have been monitoring what strongly appears to be an effort to smear one of Kyrgyzstan’s leading academic institutions, the Bishkek-based American University of Central Asia (AUCA).
This effort is most prominently symbolized by a criminal case recently launched against AUCA President Andrew Kuchins, an esteemed and long-time member of PONARS Eurasia known for his support of academic freedom and the broadly cross-national scholarly community.
In the strongest possible terms, we call on the relevant authorities to immediately drop the drug-dealing charge against Kuchins—a meritless case that risks discrediting the country’s law-enforcement system in international eyes—and to restore Kyrgyzstan’s long-standing status as the Central Asian region’s leader in academic freedom.
Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident, and we stand united with scholars around the world in urging a reversal of concerning trends in Kyrgyzstan.
Henry E. Hale, George Washington University, co-director of PONARS Eurasia
Marlene Laruelle, George Washington University, co-director of PONARS Eurasia
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