Kyrgyzstan: Revolution Revisited
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Tolekan Ismailova
Head,
Citizens Against Corruption,
Bishkek



"Where does corruption come from in Kyrgyzstan? We can say that it is [from] past experience, rooted in the clan system. Of course, this system built such a policy that a person depended on the policy of one other, bigger person. That is, if a person has connections, then he has everything. But most people do not have access to any resources. [T]hat's why in Kyrgyzstan we can clearly and plainly see [corruption] starting from the maternity hospital and finishing in the cemetery. It is all enormous money. [Y]ou can go to a maternity hospital and see the sign "Childbirth is free of charge." And then we know that we have to pay $100 to the doctor [obstetrician], a surgeon will charge a different fee, and the doctor who will take care of the child will charge a different fee.


"If we are going to talk about the maternity hospitals, [then] we should talk about carrying out civic education, about [teaching] intolerance of these phenomena [corruption]. So that a person from their childhood . . . should be brought up to respect themselves . . . to live without paying bribes in universities, in kindergartens. In this, the Ministry of Education can play an enormous role. We regret very much that they don't yet teach human rights in schools. Citizens themselves, beginning from school age, should establish students' committees and should discuss how much an education costs. . . how much money is allocated to a university or school budget. Until each citizen is thinking about money [funding] from the point of view of how [the budget] put together and where it comes from and how it is distributed and why local government is making decisions without taking into account the priorities of the community, the state will never understand those issues. . .."

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