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Chubak Bakyt Uulu, 18, Kyrgyz army hazing victim

Excerpt from this article

BISHKEK — The Kyrgyz Defense Ministry has launched an investigation into the beating of a young recruit in a military unit, RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service reports.

Toktogul Kakchekeev of the Defense Ministry told RFE/RL that on May 26, Chubak Bakyt Uulu, 18, who was drafted to the Kyrgyz army just eight days ago, was hospitalized with serious injuries after a sergeant beat him.

Bakyt Uulu told RFE/RL that the sergeant beat him after he told him that he felt unwell and was not able to clean a toilet.

Bakyt Uulu was suffering abdominal pains and could not move. When he said he might have appendicitis, the sergeant kicked him twice in the belly and he passed out

Bakyt Uulu was hospitalized and diagnosed with a burst appendix. He was immediately operated on, and his condition is now satisfactory.

Bakyt Uulu said he was surprised to learn that the beating of young army recruits is a common occurrence.

“I voluntarily joined the army thinking that I would serve my motherland. I am still ready to serve my motherland, but my current state of health does not allow me to do so,” he said.

By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. In April of 2024, the Alaska Press Club awarded him first place in the Best Columnist division and Best Humorist, second place.

He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily--http://realalaskadaily.com and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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