Kyrgyzstan Seeks to Silence Human Rights Defenders

Washington

In response to Kyrgyzstan’s security services overtly harassing activist Aziza Abdirasulova and other prominent human rights defenders, Freedom House issued the following statement:

“The decision by state authorities to conspicuously monitor Aziza Abdirasulova and her fellow activists as they dined in a café is an unmistakable effort to silence them and intimidate anyone else who might question the government,” said Robert Herman, vice president for international programs. “Kyrgyzstan’s government is harassing activists for monitoring the trial of a human rights defender facing fabricated charges, highlighting the government’s contempt for free speech and the rule of law.”

Background:

On December 7 Abdirasulova, head of the local organization “Kylym Shamy,” noticed that she and other activists were being closely watched after she testified at the trial of human rights defender Azimjan Askarov. The activists later found a hidden cell phone that had recorded the entirety of their conversation.

Kyrgyzstan is rated Partly Free in Freedom in the World 2016, Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2016, Partly Free in Freedom on the Net 2016, and receives a democracy score of 5.89, on a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 as the worst possible score, in Nations in Transit 2016.

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.

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