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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

An Interview with Hugh Williamson

In many Eastern European and Central Asian countries, media discourse suffers from the freedom of expression not being respected. Nonetheless, the situation is not hopeless, according to Hugh Williamson of Human Rights Watch. He shared his insights in…
Uzbekistan’s media landscape, made up of independent, state-sponsored, and international Uzbek and Russian language media outlets, is in a period of growth and change, as journalists test the boundaries of respect for free expression.
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

An Interview with Hugh Williamson

CABAR.asia: Recently, the authorities of the Central Asian countries have been actively regulating online activities, adopting various laws that help them control the internet. How are things going with the freedom of the internet, with internet…
Uzbekistan’s media landscape, made up of independent, state-sponsored, and international Uzbek and Russian language media outlets, is in a period of growth and change, as journalists test the boundaries of respect for free expression.
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.
News

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.
News

Azimjon Askarov at Risk of Covid-19 Exposure, Requires Urgent Medical Care

Human rights defender Azimjon Askarov has spent 10 years in prison in Kyrgyzstan. He is now seriously ill and at extreme risk of contracting Covid-19. Askarov’s lawyer, Valeryan Vakhitov, visited him in prison on July 22. He told me that Askarov is…
News

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
Published in: Open Democracy Many human rights defenders around the world are in jail for standing up for the rights of others. Azimjon Askarov is a well-known human rights defender from southern Kyrgyzstan. He is also a writer and an artist. In…
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.
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