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Authorities Should Provide Justice, End to Deadly Crime Against Women

On April 5, several men abducted 27-year-old Aizada Kanatbekova in broad daylight in Kyrgyzstan’s capital, Bishkek. One of them had allegedly been stalking her for months. Two days later, a farmer found Kanatbekova’s body in a car outside Bishkek…
People attend a rally for the protection of women's rights in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, protesting the kidnapping and killing of Aizada Kanatbekova, April 8, 2021. The banner reads, "The Authorities are Responsible for Femicide."
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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.
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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
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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
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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.
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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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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.
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Museum Director Resigns in Wake of Violent Threats

The “Feminnale” exhibition at Kyrgyzstan’s National Art Museum in Bishkek centers on the theme of economic independence for women, intentionally challenging gender norms in the country. But instead of treating the event as an…
People march through the center of Kyrgyzstan's capital Bishkek for International Women's Day, March 8, 2019.
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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.
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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.
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End Torture; Respect Basic Freedoms

(Berlin) – Central Asia's political leaders should focus on urgently needed improvements to basic human rights protections for their populations, as they deal with leadership succession and internal politics, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its…
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Government Should Do More to Address ‘Bride Kidnapping,’ Domestic Violence

“[E]veryone knows mullahs marry [people] at an early age,” the head of a community elders court told me when I was in southern Kyrgyzstan researching domestic violence in 2014. Although child and forced marriage are illegal in Kyrgyzstan, an estimated 12…
Members of Kyrgyzstan's parliament attend first session in Bishkek, November 10, 2010.
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Activists, Groups Targeted, Persecuted by Authorities

(Berlin) – Central Asian governments ramped up pressure on nongovernmental groups and activists in 2015, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2016. The governments of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan arrested…
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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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Women suffering domestic violence in Kyrgyzstan lack adequate protection and access to justice due to insufficient police and judicial response. The government is doing too little to provide shelter and other services for survivors of abuse. Kyrgyzstan’s…
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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…