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For Survivors of Abuse, Shelters Offered Lifeline

“My parents warned me they will kill me if I ever leave this shelter,” Najla, a woman of about 30, told me. “The worst thing is that I don’t have anyone to support me.” She has been in a shelter in Afghanistan’s western city of Herat for several years…
Afghan women sew in their bedroom at a women's shelter in Kabul, March 20, 2017. A non-descript building tucked away in a residential neighborhood is one of the few hidden sanctuaries where battered women can seek support. 
News

Self-Defence Against Domestic Violence Should Count at Trial

Gulzhan Pasanova could spend 10 years in prison because in defending herself from her abusive husband, he died. On October 22, the Supreme Court of Kyrgyzstan will consider her case on appeal. In November 2019, Pasanova’s husband, accusing her of…
Cartoon about Domestic Violence by Tatiana Zelenskaya
News

Man Who Abused Wife in Viral Video Sentenced to Probation Only

After years of monitoring violence against women in Kyrgyzstan, and seeing little done to punish abusers, we thought this time might finally be different. It wasn’t. It looked like an open and shut case. The horrific abuse was captured on video…
An artistic representation of a domestic violence case in Kyrgyzstan. © Tatiana Zelenskaya
News

Calls to Strengthen Justice and Support for Abuse Survivors

A video depicting horrific domestic abuse, circulating recently on social media in Kyrgyzstan, shows a man slapping his wife and pouring water over her head. The woman’s hands are tied behind her back, and tires, weighted down with stones, hang over her…
An artistic representation of a domestic violence case in Kyrgyzstan.
News

Domestic Violence Services Need to Be Classified As “Essential”

Under Kyrgyzstan’s present state of emergency, which includes a curfew from 8pm to 7am, it has become a lot more difficult for women to escape domestic violence. Many are too afraid to call the police or help centres, says Tolkun…
Cartoon about Domestic Violence by Tatiana Zelenskaya
News

Investigate Attacks on Marchers

(Berlin) – Kyrgyzstan police held about 70 activists, most of them women, for hours on March 8, 2020 without telling them the grounds for their detention or providing access to lawyers, Human Rights Watch said today. The activists had themselves…
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News

It shouldn’t take a series of brutal murders to prompt government action.

For women in Kyrgyzstan, 2020 has already been deadly. At least three women were killed by their husbands or partners in the first 14 days of the year. Their deaths resulted from abuse including kicks to the head, burns, stabbing and…
Burulai Turdaaly kyzy’s portrait on a building at the medical college she attended in Bishkek, November 2018.
News

On Anniversary of Woman’s Murder, Act to Halt Violence Against Women

(Bishkek) – The failure of Kyrgyzstan’s government to prevent and punish violence against women and girls leaves them at risk of injury and even death, Human Rights Watch said today, a year after a man murdered a young woman he had kidnapped for…
Burulai Turdaaly kyzy’s portrait on a building at the medical college she attended in Bishkek, November 2018.
News

Government Should Do More to End ‘Bride Kidnapping,’ Protect Victims

The 20-year-old woman from Kyrgyzstan’s capital, Bishkek, was headed for a medical career and marriage to the man she loved. Instead, she was murdered by a jealous admirer who had “bride kidnapped” her to force her into marriage. It is…
Screenshot from a video showing a photograph of Burulai Turdaaly Kyzy.
News

Groundbreaking 2009 Law Hasn’t Brought Justice for Victims

It seemed like a breakthrough. In 2009, when then-President Hamid Karzai signed Afghanistan’s Law on the Elimination of Violence Against Women (EVAW Law), women’s rights activists celebrated a hard-won victory. They looked to a future…
Members of civil society organizations chant slogans during a protest to condemn the killing of 27-year-old woman, Farkhunda, who was beaten with sticks and set on fire by a crowd of men in central Kabul in broad daylight on Thursday, in Kabul March 24, 2
News

Government Moves to Improve Response to Abuse

President Almazbek Atambayev of Kyrgyzstan took an important step toward curbing violence against women when he signed a new domestic violence law and accompanying legislation on April 27, 2017, Human Rights Watch said…
Young women in Osh, Kyrgyzstan. Nearly one-third of women in Kyrgyzstan experience abuse by a spouse or partner.
News

Urge to Press the Government for Action Is Long Gone

“This is not a side event. This is the main event,” several speakers said at the – yes – side event on women’s empowerment the day before the October 5 donor conference on Afghanistan in Brussels. The donor session, for all its warm glow, highlighted the…
DATE IMPORTED:October 05, 2016(Front Row L-R) Afghanistan's Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, President Ashraf Ghani, European Council President Donald Tusk, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, U.S.
News
The rapid spread of the Zika virus has raised concern among public health officials across the Americas. The World Health Organization warned Sunday that the virus is likely to spread further across the region. At first glance,…
A woman walks away from her apartment as health workers fumigates the Altos del Cerro neighborhood as part of preventive measures against the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases in Soyapango, El Salvador January 21, 2016.
News
The photo is shocking. A young woman – 20 years old – lies in a hospital bed, cradling her infant. Where her nose should be is instead a ragged bandage. Her eyes gaze out from over the bandage, looking far away and numb. This is…
Afghan woman Raiza Gul, 20, and whose nose was sliced off by her husband in an attack, lies on a bed with her baby as she receives treatment at a hospital in the northern province of Faryab on January 19, 2016.
News

Kerry Should Press to Free Activists, Let Independent Groups Operate

(Washington, DC) – United States Secretary of State John Kerry should publicly express concern over Central Asian governments’ distinctly poor human rights records during his Central Asia visits, beginning October 31, 2015, Human Rights Watch said today…
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News

Gaps in Government Response Put Women’s Lives at Risk

(Bishkek) – Women suffering domestic violence in Kyrgyzstan lack adequate protection and access to justice due to insufficient police and judicial response, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The government is doing too little to provide…
Young women in Osh, Kyrgyzstan. Nearly one-third of women in Kyrgyzstan experience abuse by a spouse or partner.
Report
Map of Kyrgyzstan Summary Gulnara B. and her husband lived together for 15 years before he began brutally attacking her in 2003. One evening in 2012, he returned to their Bishkek home after a…
News
Congress, or at least parts of it, is getting restless with the White House approach to human rights abuses in Central Asia. A recent hearing by the House of Representatives’ Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission on the region’s terrible human rights record…