The conclusions of the International Investigation Commission’s report on the June 2010 events implicate the responsibility of Kyrgyz authorities

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and its member organisations in Kyrgyzstan, Citizens Against Corruption (CAC), Legal Clinic Adilet and Kylym Shamy, welcome the findings of the report of the International Independent Commission regarding the June 2010 events in Southern Kyrgyzstan, which bring to light the failure of the Kyrgyz authorities to « fulfill [their] basic responsibility » to stop the violences and protect their own citizens.

According to the report, the violences committed in Osh on June 11, 12 and 13 rose to the level of «crimes against humanity».The Head of the Commission, Kimmo Kiljunen, declared that these crimes included « murder, rape, other forms of sexual violence, physical violence and persecution » against ethnic Uzbeks. At least 470 people died, 74% of which were ethnic Uzbeks. 1,900 others were injured and more than 400,000 were displaced. Additionally, there was significant property damage, mostly affecting the Uzbek minority community.

The report contradicts the conclusions of the National Investigation Commission which implied in January 2011 that the Uzbek minority had provoked the violence.

Moreover, the Commission pointed out the flaws of the Kyrgyz State before and in the aftermath of the events, saying that it committed «serious violations of international human rights law». In particular, the report denounces that «acts of torture were committed in detention centres by the authorities of Kyrgyzstan» and that «criminal investigations and trials which have resulted from the June events have been marked by breaches of the right to a fair trial as guaranteed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights», partly under the responsibility of local officials and prosecutors.

« FIDH welcomes the commission’s conclusions, which correspond to the ones NGOs previously drew as in FIDH 2010 report. It is now more urgent than ever that Kyrgyz authorities launch transparent, impartial investigations into the June events and their aftermath and guarantee the Rule of Law. », said Souhayr Belhassen, FIDH President.

Indeed, FIDH and its member organisations repeatedly underlined the appalling human rights situation in the South of the country following the June events and until now (1). Additionally, they have brought attention to the flaws in the justice system, which is exemplified by the case of the Uzbek human rights defender Azimjan Askarov, who was sentenced to life imprisonment (2), and whose trial in appeal at the Supreme Court has been repeatedly suspended. «It is intolerable that Azimjan Askarov’s case has still not been properly investigated nor reviewed by the Supreme Court » declared Tolekan Ismailova, Director of CAC.

FIDH and its partner organisations in Kyrgyzstan, Citizens Against Corruption (CAC), Legal Clinic Adilet and Kylym Shamy call on the Kyrgyz authorities to :

* respond accordingly to the conclusions of the International Commission’s report and guarantee the respect of human rights in the South of Kyrgyzstan ;
* open a full and transparent investigation into the causes and responsibilities of the June 2010 events and their aftermath ;
* prosecute the persons responsible for the most serious crimes ;
* implement the rights of victims to justice in an independent and fair manner ;
* provide basic urgent help to victims, in accordance with Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power (UN Resolution 40/34, 29/11/1985) ;
* deliver a full list of the victims of the June 2010 events ;
* fully respect the independence of judges and the rule of law in accordance with international standards ;
* open a new, impartial and independent investigation into Azimjan Askarov’s criminal case ;
* Insure that measures are taken to fight against discrimination, including in the Kyrgyz parliament and in politics.

To the international community:

* The OSCE and the EU should monitor the implementation of the Commission’s recommendations ;
* On the basis of the findings of the international Investigation Commission, and in case of unwillingness of the national authorities to prosecute such crimes, the UN Security Council should refer the situation in Kyrgyzstan to the International Criminal Court.

(1) See FIDH report Kyrgyzstan : A weak state, political instability : civil society caught up in the turmoil,
(2) See the dossier on Askarov’s Case, in particular the February 2011 urgent appeal of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders

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