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Azimjon Askarov, a human rights defender from Kyrgyzstan, may have died in prison on Saturday after contracting pneumonia, but it really was the cruel human rights abuses that ultimately got him. Prison officials confirmed the cause of death…
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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In Kyrgyzstan, there are people serving time for a crime no longer in the books.

Each week, a young man who sells shoes at a market in southern Kyrgyzstan loses a day of work to travel to the open prison where he is serving a three-year sentence. But the crime for which he was convicted, possession of “extremist” material, no longer…
An airplane trace is seen behind a Kyrgyzstan national flag fluttering in a central square in Bishkek March 11, 2013.
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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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The EU is proud that protecting human rights is central to its efforts to make the world a better place, and has repeatedly defined this goal as integral to its foreign policy. That’s the theory. The reality often looks different – in Central Asia…
Kazakhstan police officers detain a protester during an opposition rally in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
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Use of Same Tech in Xinjiang Should Serve as Warning

On October 31, Kyrgyzstan President Sooronbay Jeenbekov inaugurated a new police command center in the capital city of Bishkek. But this local event had an international human rights dimension: the center will manage a network of cameras equipped…
An airplane trace is seen behind a Kyrgyzstan national flag fluttering in a central square in Bishkek March 11, 2013.
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A new treaty to deepen the link between environmental protection and human rights in Latin America and the Caribbean has the potential to reduce the conflicts that lead to the murders of so many environmental defenders in the region.  The…
Bernardo, a man in his 30s, was born in a quilombo (Afro-Brazilian) community of around 60, men, women, and children in Minas Gerais State, southeast Brazil. Bernardo told Human Rights Watch that he feels powerless against aerial spraying of pesticides. “
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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…
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Five years ago this month I was in Osh documenting cases of arbitrary arrest, ill treatment and torture in the aftermath of the ethnic violence in southern Kyrgyzstan. The deep bruises on the body of one man I spoke with are still imprinted on my mind. He…
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EU leaders should encourage president to drop anti-gay laws and free political prisoners

(Berlin)—President Almazbek Atambaev of Kyrgyzstan, one of Central Asia’s smaller and poorer republics, is a man in a hurry.   Last week he was in Russia for talks with Vladimir Putin on closer bilateral ties. This week and next he’s in Europe for talks…
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For lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people the law is a paradox. The law can operate as an instrument of repression and control, but also as a tool for resistance and liberation. We find fragments of our collective histories in court records…
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It’s been four years since violent ethnic clashes broke out in southern Kyrgyzstan, and for many, time has moved on. These days, walking down the main streets of Osh, the largest city in southern Kyrgyzstan, you wouldn’t think that burned-out houses and…
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This week, David Cameron has announced a visit to Kazakhstan; the first ever visit by a British leader to Central Asia. On the agenda will be security issues, the pull-out from Afghanistan, and oil and gas. Though the human rights climate in Kazakhstan…
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The chaotic scenes at the trial of a man charged over inter-ethnic violence in Kyrgyzstan are damaging the legal process, reports Mihra Rittmann. Even in the basement of the courthouse, safe behind a closed door, I’m sure the defendant could still hear…
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Iran, immigration, Syria, Ghana, Yemen, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Greece, EU & Bahrain...

[View the story "Human Rights Watch Daily Brief, 13 June 2013" on Storify]
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Strange things happen in Bishkek, the Kyrgyzstan capital. One morning this autumn the sounds of loud protests outside parliament almost drowned out conversation in our meeting  nearby. That wouldn’t stand out in cities where street protests are common.…
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Ashton has set herself a benchmark for human rights in foreign policy. Her visit to central Asia will be a tough test.

At the height of summer, when foreign ministers adopted the European Union's new human-rights strategy, Catherine Ashton, the high representative for foreign affairs, was eloquent in promising to make these issues a core ingredient in the EU's foreign…