Like Father, Like… Kyrgyz Opposition Leader's Son Gets Arrested

Former Kyrgyz MP Kamchybek Tashiev is mostly known for his radical nationalist rhetoric. He believes that Kyrgyzstan's leader should be a “pure blooded Kyrgyz” and refuses [ru] to give interviews in Russian. Last year, the politician almost ended up in prison after attempting to “get to his place of work” (the parliament) by climbing over the fence of the legislature with a band of some fifty young men, an event that a local judge ruled was a coup attempt (although Tashiev's shoe-throwing supporters later persuaded him otherwise). In a feint nod to the rule of law, Tashiev was sacked from the parliament after the incident.

The nationalist politician largely lost the spotlight after losing his seat in the parliament. On December 2, however, Tashiev found himself back in the center of public attention after police arrested [ru] his son for alleged theft of car wheels:

Kamchybek Tashiev holding a child. Public profile image from Tashiev's Twitter account.

в Бишкеке 1 декабря во время рейда “Автовор” в 5-м микрорайоне были задержаны 4 студента столичных вузов. Как сообщается, они пытались снять колеса с автомашины “Хонда-Аккорд”.

В момент задержания молодые люди находились в автомашине “Мерседес-Бенц”, которой управлял сын экс-депутата Тимур.

On December 1, four students from [Bishkek] universities were detained during a police raid in the fifth mikrorayon [city district],  The young men reportedly attempted to [steal] wheels from a Honda Accord.

The young men were arrested in a Mercedes Benz driven by the son of a former [parliament] deputy, Timur [Tashiev].

In a move resembling political strategies of the supporters of Tashiev the senior, Timur's friends tried to bail him out after the arrest. The young man's “classmates” and “friends” took to social media and news web sites, claiming that Timur has been a victim of false identity, that he was in Russia during the incident, that he was a “good boy”, and that the Tashiev family was too rich for such petty crime.

However, police soon released a footage [ru] of Timur's interview in custody, in which the young man confessed to an attempted theft of car wheels, explaining that he had done that because he needed money.

Timur Tashiev in police custody. Screen capture from YouTube video uploaded by Kiyalbek Toichiev on December 2, 2013.

Timur Tashiev in police custody. Screen capture from YouTube video uploaded by Kiyalbek Toichiev on December 2, 2013.

Online reactions to the news of Timur Tashiev's arrest came thick and fast. “Like father, like son” was the most popular theme in the majority of netizen comments.

Under a news report about the incident, Eles announced [ru]:

это наследственное

this is genetics

Another reader wrote [ru] in an apparent reference to the Tashievs’ reputation for corruption:

бедняжки..уже нечего воровать что ли??

poor things… they have nothing else left to steal or what??

“Pravda” asked [ru]:

и вот такие дети и их отцы хотят управлять страной?!!!теперь вы видите очевидность дебилизма???что они сделают со страной и с нами??!!разграбят…

these children and their fathers want to rule the country?!!! do you see the idiotism now??? what would they do to the country and to us??!! [they would] plunder…

Burul added [ru]:

яблоко от яблони, как говорится

the apple [doesn't fall far] from the tree, as they say

Bermet chipped in [ru]:

куда отец туда и сын…

the son is following in his father's footsteps

There were also rare voices doubting the official account of Timur Tashiev's arrest and suggesting that the incident might have been a “set-up” to exert pressure on his father. It remains to be seen whether the controversial politician's son will end up in prison. After all, his father was allowed to get away with much more serious charges.

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