Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev warned the Central Asian nation’s new self-proclaimed government on Monday of more bloodshed if they try to arrest him.
Bakiyev made his first public appearance in the south of the country five days a violent uprising drove him from power.
But the ousted leader responded defiantly to reports the new administration wants to seize him.
“This will lead to so much bloodshed which no-one will be able to justify,” he told journalists.
Opposition protest marches in the capital of Bishkek on April 7 led to bloody clashes that killed at least 81 people.
The interim government, led by Roza Otunbayeva, say Bakiyev gave the orders for snipers to open fire on the demonstrations. That’s a charge he denies.
A man known only as Albar was one of those shot last week. He lies bed-ridden in a Bishkek hospital, unable to speak. He lost half his tongue when he was shot in the head.
Albar’s friend, who did not give his name, spoke to Euronews on his behalf.
“He was at the front of the demonstrations and when snipers started to shoot he was hit in the back of his head, the bullet went through his mouth,” the man said.
“We’re living in a democratic state and everyone should be free to say what they think. He simply came out to stand up for his ideals.
“He suffered because of that. He didn’t suffer for his own interests but for the future of Kyrgyzstan.”
Discontent over rising prices and alleged corruption in Kyrgyzstan sparked the violence on April 7..
Ironically, Bakiyev himself had been swept to power five years ago in similar circumstances in the so-called Tulip Revolution.