Kyrgyzstan: A weak state, political instability: civil society caught up in the turmoil

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The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and its member organisations “Kylym Shamy” and “Citizens Against corruption” today publish a report entitled “Kyrgyzstan: A weak state, political instability: civil society caught up in the turmoil”. This report follows an international fact-finding mission in Kyrgyzstan.

While on September 15, 2010, the Uzbek human rights defender Azimjan Askarov, director of the human rights organisation “Vozdukh” (Air), based in the city of Bazar-Korgon, in the Djalal-Abad region in the south of the country, was sentenced to life imprisonment, Kyrgyz civil society is more than ever in turmoil. The mission found that at the end of June 2010 the pressure exerted on human rights defenders and independent journalists had become systematic. The authors of such pressure come from a variety of circles, private or governmental, and remain unpunished: the government is weak, and respect for Human Rights is not one of its priorities. Kyrgyzstan is experiencing profound political crisis and instability and tensions persist prior to the parliamentary elections on October 10, 2010.

The mission was organised on the occasion of the constitutional referendum held on June 27, and was able to collect first-hand accounts of the first poll to take place since President Kurmanbek Bakiev was ousted from power in April, and since the violent clashes that took place in June 2010. In order to examine the impact of these events on the Human Rights situation and on that of Human Rights defenders, the mission visited Bishkek, the capital, and Osh, in the south.

The authors of the report show that the human rights violations committed in Kyrgyzstan are the result of the slow deterioration of the political and social situation in the country. They list and analyse the Human Rights violations committed during the events in April and June 2010, and how the authors have been brought to justice - or not: “The failure of the Kyrgyz government to protect its citizens from human rights violations is the direct responsibility of the authorities. The inability or indeed the lack of willingness to bring to justice those responsible for violations seriously compromises the future of the country”, said the authors.

FIDH, ”Kylym Shamy” and “Citizens against corruption” conclude by calling on the Kyrgyz authorities to carry out an independent investigation into Human Rights violations since April 2010 and to take effective measures to fight against impunity, to guarantee respect for Human Rights and to request the support of the international community in order to do so.

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