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U.S. Statement at the UPR of the Kyrgyz Republic
January 19, 2015

21st Session of the Universal Periodic Review
Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America

January 19, 2015

We welcome the delegation of the Kyrgyz Republic.

We commend the Kyrgyz Republic for the first peaceful and democratic transfer of presidential power and for further development of its parliamentary system. The Kyrgyz Republic also boasts a vibrant civil society and open media.

But recent harassment of local and international NGOs  and the introduction of draft legislation—including a “non-traditional relations” law that criminalizes expressions of identity, a Foreign Agents law that hinders civil society’s ability to operate by subjecting organizations that accept foreign funding to onerous new regulations, and the proposal of amendments to the religion law that would unduly increase registration requirements and penalties for religious groups — threaten(s) to jeopardize the country’s democratic achievements.

We remain concerned by the government’s limited progress towards reconciliation following the 2010 ethnic violence and the disproportionate prosecution and conviction of ethnic Uzbeks for that violence, often in trials that failed to provide minimum procedural guarantees to defendants. Further, police continue to systematically attack and extort members of minority groups.

Bearing in mind these concerns, we recommend that the Kyrgyz Republic:

1. Empower legal advisors in parliament to review draft laws and policies, incorporate input from civil society and experts in the international community, and oppose legislation that is inconsistent with international human rights obligations and commitments;

2. Examine allegations of ill-treatment and torture in custody and failures to ensure fair trial guarantees to those arrested and prosecuted following the 2010 violence;

3. Cease harassment and discrimination by police of members of ethnic minorities and peaceful religious adherents under the pretext of combatting violent extremism, and grant registration to peaceful religious groups.

(end statement)