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Criminal Charges Mark New Step in Kyrgyzstan’s Democratic Decline
Русская версия тут.
Following authorities bringing criminal charges against staff of a leading Kyrgyzstani human rights organization for allegedly inciting inter-ethnic hatred, and following reports that Freedom House's former project director in Kyrgyzstan will also be charged, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“Bringing criminal charges against the staff of the Human Rights Advocacy Center for their human rights monitoring is a shocking sign of the Kyrgyzstani government’s lack of respect for human rights and civil society,” said Robert Herman, vice president for international programs at Freedom House. “The State Committee for National Security and the prosecutor in Osh have fabricated evidence and shamelessly ignored procedural safeguards in a politically motivated campaign against an independent civil society group and the international human rights community.
"The fact that the human rights work being prosecuted is supported by USAID is a sign that Kyrgyzstani authorities are taking a page from the Russian playbook and going after international support for civil society," Herman said. "Freedom House condemns these baseless charges and calls on the Kyrgyzstani government to swiftly halt these proceedings."
Kyrgyzstan is rated Partly Free in the Freedom in the World 2014, Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2014, Partly Free in Freedom on the Net 2013, and received a democracy score of 5.89, on a scale of 1-7 with 7 being the worst possible score, in Nations in Transit 2014.
For more information, read the previous release "Freedom House Statement on Criminal Investigation in Kyrgyzstan."
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.