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Stop Harassing Independent Media; Release Editor

(Bishkek) – Kyrgyzstan authorities have stepped up the harassment of journalists and independent media with a slew of criminal investigations into their work in recent months, Human Rights Watch said today. On March 29, 2022, following a motion by…
The Kyrgyzstan flag
News

Quash Fines Imposed on Human Rights Defenders

(Bishkek) – Kyrgyz authorities should immediately repeal restrictions that prohibit any gatherings in front of the Russian Embassy in Bishkek, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should also cancel fines imposed on three human rights…
Demonstrators hold anti-war posters during an action against Russia’s attack on Ukraine near the Russian Embassy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, February 28, 2022.
News

Central Asian Countries Should Reaffirm, Act on Rights Commitments

(Berlin) –  Kazakhstan authorities have failed to prioritize protecting human rights during the country’s current crisis, and should urgently cancel any order to shoot to kill without warning and uphold the rights of those in detention, Human…
Police detain Khalida Akytkhan outside the Chinese Consulate in Almaty, Kazakhstan, where relatives of people detained or disappeared in Xinjiang, China have been protesting for over 300 days.
News

Afghanistan Crisis No Excuse to Ignore Rights Concerns

(Brussels) – The European Union should urge Central Asian governments at a gathering on November 22, 2021, to increase efforts to protect human rights, at a time when Afghanistan and regional issues are high on the agenda, Human Rights Watch said…
EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the five Central Asian countries at the 15th EU-Central Asia Ministerial Meeting in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on July 07, 2019.
News

President Should Veto Legislation, Protect Media Freedom

(Bishkek) – Kyrgyzstan’s President Sadyr Japarov should veto the new law on “false information” when it reaches him for signature, Human Rights Watch said today. The law authorizes the government to block certain types of information without a…
Kyrgyzstan's Prime Minister Sadyr Japarov delivers a speech during a session of parliament in Bishkek, October 16, 2020.
News

Human Rights Defender Died in Arbitrary Detention

(Brussels) – Kyrgyzstan authorities have yet to conduct an independent investigation into the death in detention on July 25, 2020, of the human rights defender and journalist Azimjon Askarov, Human Rights Watch, the Committee to Protect Journalists,…
Grave of human rights defender Azimjon Askarov, who was arbitrarily arrested, tortured, convicted after an unfair trial in Kyrgyzstan and passed away in detention on June 25, 2020.
News

Internal Inquiry Closed, Effective Independent Investigation Needed

(Berlin) – Kyrgyz authorities should fulfill their obligation to carry out a thorough, independent investigation into the death in custody of the human rights defender Azimjon Askarov on July 25, 2020, Human Rights Watch said today after a government…
Ethnic Uzbek journalist Azimzhan Askarov, who was arbitrarily arrested, tortured, convicted after an unfair trial and jailed for life looks through metal bars during hearings at the Bishkek regional court, Kyrgyzstan.
News

Risk of Further Arbitrary Detention and Unfair Trial

(Berlin) – Turkish and Kyrgyz authorities abducted, forcibly disappeared, and extrajudicially transferred a dual Turkish-Kyrgyz national living in Bishkek to Turkey, Human Rights Watch said today. The actions included egregious violations of…
Screenshot of a broadcast on TRT TV on July 5 2021, in which Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announces that the intelligence services have transported Orhan İnandı from Kyrgyzstan to Turkey.
News

Reject Dangerous Amendments; Guarantee Freedom of Expression, Association

(Bishkek) – Kyrgyz authorities are considering amendments to the Criminal and Criminal Procedural Codes that would put the political opposition and human rights groups at heightened risk, Human Rights Watch said today. On April 21, 2021, Kyrgyzstan’s…
Kyrgyzstan President Sadyr Zhaparov holds presidential standard during his inauguration ceremony in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
News

Endangers Fundamental Rights; Weakens Checks and Balances

(Berlin) – The draft constitution submitted to the Kyrgyz Parliament on February 9, 2021 undermines human rights norms and weakens checks and balances necessary to prevent abuses of power, Human Rights Watch said today. The timetable announced by…
The new Kyrgyzstan President Sadyr Zhaparov, who won the January 10 snap election, at his inauguration ceremony in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021.
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Rights, Rule of Law Key in Response to Region’s Crises

(Brussels) – The European Union (EU) should set consequences if Central Asian governments fail to meet more ambitious human rights goals, Human Rights Watch said today. The EU’s response to political turmoil, such as in Kyrgyzstan, or to challenges…
European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell in Brussels, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020.
News

Kyrgyz Officials Unlawfully Return Bobomurod Abdullaev

(Berlin) – The Uzbek authorities should drop the criminal investigation against the independent journalist Bobomurod Abdullaev and lift all restrictions on his movement, Human Rights Watch said today. Abdullaev faces charges of “offenses against the…
Bobomurod Abdullaev, May 7, 2018.
News

Independent Journalist Faces Torture if Returned

(Berlin) – Kyrgyz authorities should reject a request to extradite the independent Uzbek journalist Bobomurod Abdullaev to Uzbekistan and instead should release him, Human Rights Watch said today. Officers of the State Committee for National…
Bobomurod Abdullaev, May 7, 2018.
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President Should Use Veto to Uphold Fundamental Rights

(Berlin) – President Sooronbai Jeenbekov of Kyrgyzstan should veto two laws that are pending his signature on the grounds that they violate the country’s human rights obligations, Human Rights Watch said today. Parliament on June 25, 2020 adopted a…
Protesters at a free speech rally in Bishkek on June 29 hold up a sign that reads “We need clean reforms!”
News

Cancel House Arrest; Investigate Complaint; Withdraw Proposal Designed to Stifle Activism

(Berlin) – Kyrgyz security services detained a well-known rights defender on dubious grounds on May 29, 2020, and on May 31, a court ordered him placed under house arrest, Human Rights Watch said today. Kyrgyz authorities should lift the two-month…
Kamil Ruziev stands in the hospital where he is getting treatment for high blood pressure after two days in the custody of the Kyrgyz national security services.
News

Appeal Pending for Azimon Askarov, Convicted in Unfair Trial

(Berlin) – Kyrgyzstan authorities should release the ailing human rights defender Azimjon Askarov and quash his conviction after an unfair trial, Human Rights Watch said today. The country’s Supreme Court will hear an appeal of his case…
Ethnic Uzbek journalist Azimzhan Askarov, who was arbitrarily arrested, tortured, convicted after an unfair trial and jailed for life looks through metal bars during hearings at the Bishkek regional court, Kyrgyzstan.
News

Detained, Held Under House Arrest Over Posts on Corruption

(Berlin) – A blogger in Kyrgyzstan who wrote about corruption on social media is facing charges of inter-regional incitement, Human Rights Watch said today. The blogger, Aftandil Zhorobekov, was detained on November 24, 2019 by…
201912eca_kyrgyzstan_blogger_arrest
News

Drop Charges; Protect Free Speech

(Berlin) – Kyrgyzstan police detained a couple staging a peaceful protest in Bishkek on March 27, 2019, accusing them of “inciting national enmity,” Human Rights Watch said today. Nurlan Karymshakov, 48, and Gulzana Imaeva,…
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Kyrgyzstan's President Sooronbai Jeenbekov pose after a signing ceremony in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on March 28, 2019.
News

Mandatory Prison for Possessing Banned Pamphlets, Videos

(Bishkek) – Kyrgyzstan is convicting hundreds of people for possessing videos, pamphlets, and books that it has banned using a dangerously overbroad definition of extremism, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Offenders…
Counterterrorism police carry out a search in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on October 16, 2015.
News

Regional Leaders Should End Repressive Policies

(Berlin) – Political leaders in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan should use the window of opportunity offered by political change in their countries to improve human rights, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its World Report 2018. Leaders of…
People attend the opening ceremony of the new Belarussian-built potash plant in Garlyk, Turkmenistan March 31, 2017.
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