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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

National Civil Registry Discriminates Against Same-Sex Relationships

(Washington, DC) – Bolivia’s national civil registry (Registro de Servicio Cívico, SERECÍ) has discriminated against a lesbian couple by rejecting their application to register their relationship as a union, Human Rights Watch said today. All civil…
The Constitutional Court of Bolivia (Tribunal Constitucional Plurinacional).
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

Authorities Should Investigate; Guarantee Safety

(Bishkek) – Kyrgyz authorities should investigate the disappearance of Orhan İnandı, founder of a network of education institutions in Kyrgyzstan, amid concern that he may be forcibly deported to Turkey, Human Rights Watch said today. İnandı, a…
Protestors in central Bishkek demanding Orhan Inandi, who disappeared on May 31, be found, hold posters with his image that read “Orhan Inandi is a Kyrgyz citizen! He should be found!”
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

Uphold, Reaffirm Human Rights Protections

(Berlin) – Government responses to the acute human rights challenges posed by Covid-19 across Central Asia negatively affected right to health, media freedoms, and access to justice, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2021.…
Uzbek students take open-air entrance exams in Tashkent on September 2, 2020, amid the ongoing coronavirus disease pandemic.
News

Withdraw Restrictive Bill; Ensure Right to Organize

(Bishkek) – Kyrgyz authorities have increased scrutiny of trade union leaders, including through criminal investigations, and are unduly interfering in legitimate trade union activities in the country, Human Rights Watch said today. On November 21…
A protester listens to a speaker during a rally in front of the government building in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Wednesday, October 14, 2020. 
News

Inclusive Education Key to Ending Segregation in Institutions

(Berlin) – Thousands of children with disabilities in Kyrgyzstan are segregated in residential institutions where they can experience neglect, inappropriate medical treatment, and discrimination, Human Rights Watch said in a report published today, on…
A child stares out a bedroom window
News

Delay Reforms until New Parliament Is Sworn In

(Berlin) – Rushed efforts in Kyrgyzstan to introduce far-reaching constitutional changes before new parliamentary elections endanger fundamental human rights and the democratic process, Human Rights Watch said today. Draft constitutional…
Kyrgyzstan's Prime Minister Sadyr Japarov delivers his speech during an official ceremony of transfer of the power at the Kyrgyzstan Parliament in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020.
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

Flawed Parliamentary Vote Prompts Protests, Violence

(Berlin) – Law enforcement forces in Kyrgyzstan responding to protests and unrest should uphold human rights and the rule of law, including if provoked by some protesters, Human Rights Watch said today. Clashes between protesters and law enforcement…
Protesters gathered on Ala Too Square in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan's capital on October 6, 2020, two days after a disputed parliamentary election.
News

Charges Against Evo Morales, Others Appear Politically Motivated

(Washington, DC) – The interim government of Bolivia is abusing the justice system to persecute associates and supporters of former president Evo Morales, who himself faces terrorism charges that appear to be politically motivated, Human Rights Watch…
Former President of Bolivia Evo Morales attends a press conference at the journalists' club in Mexico City, Nov. 27, 2019. 
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

High Court Rules Against Anti-LGBT Discrimination

(Washington, DC) – The national civil registry (Registro de Servicio Cívico, SERECÍ) of Bolivia should comply with a court ruling to register a same-sex couple’s relationship as a “free union,” Human Rights Watch said today. All civil registries in…
LGBT march during the International Day Against Homophobia in La Paz, Bolivia, in 2013. © AIZAR RALDES/AFP via Getty Images
News

Hold Authorities Accountable for Azimjon Askarov’s Needless Death

(Berlin, July 25, 2020) – Human rights defender, Azimjon Askarov, has died in prison in Kyrgyzstan, Human Rights Watch said today. Askarov, 69, was serving a life sentence imposed after an unfair trial on politically motivated charges, for which he…
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

As Cases Surge, Ensure Access to Treatment, Medicine

(Berlin) – The decision on July 17, 2020 by the governments of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan to start counting certain cases of pneumonia as Covid-19 in official data provides greater transparency and accountability and should improve their ability to…
Medical specialists wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) treat patients at a day hospital, which is located in a school gym and provides services free of charge, in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan July 16, 2020.