Bishkek Apartment Residents Fight Eviction

An apartment block in the Kyrgyz capital is at the centre of a stand-off in which residents are refusing to obey an eviction order they say is illegal.

Bishkek Apartment Residents Fight Eviction

An apartment block in the Kyrgyz capital is at the centre of a stand-off in which residents are refusing to obey an eviction order they say is illegal.

Monday, 22 June, 2009
Kerege, the company which owns the block, located in one of the city’s suburbs, is demanding that people leave and are offering no compensation.



Residents who have lived there for the past nine years told reporter Nurlan Abdaliev they had a written agreement with the firm when they moved in.



Tokon, the head of the neighbourhood residents’ association, recalls that at the time, the block was an unfinished skeleton and they did all the work needed to make it habitable, installing a roof, doors and windows and laying on mains water, electricity and sewerage. In return, they paid Kerege a quarter of the asking price up front and were told they could pay the rest later.



“When we had the money and wanted to pay, they refused to accept it,” said Tokon.



Kerege representative Ludmila Polyakova defended the eviction orders, saying that back in 2003, residents were given a two-year deadline to repay the outstanding portion of the purchase price, and those who did so had been given ownership papers. Only those who failed to pay in time were now being evicted, she added.



Polyakova says the work people did on their homes should count as rent for the time they lived there.



Some residents are threatening desperate measures, including blowing up the block, if they are thrown out.



“No one’s going to do that,” said Polyakova in response. “If they’d really wanted to, they’d have done it ages ago.”



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