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Kyrgyzstan: Two NGO Figures Threatened for Remarks in Warsaw
In response to threats made by Kyrgyz media against Tolekan Ismailova and Aziza Abdurasulova following their participation at the 2016 OSCE Human Dimension Implementers Meeting (HDIM) in Warsaw, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“We urge the government of the Kyrgyz Republic to publicly guarantee the safety of Ismailova and Abdurasulova upon their return from Warsaw,” said Robert Herman, vice president for international programs. “The government should not punish them in any way for exercising their constitutional rights as citizens of the Kyrgyz Republic through participating in the Meeting.”
On September 20, Ismailova of the NGO “Bir Duino Kyrgyzstan” and Abdurasulova of “Kylym Shamy” addressed a working session on the international covenants of human rights at the HDIM. Ismailova was by chance seated next to Kadyrzhan Batyrov, an ethnic Uzbek from Kyrgyzstan wanted by the government of the Kyrgyz Republic in connection to the ethnic violence that broke out in South Kyrgyzstan in 2010. Although the international community has widely and uniformly condemned the charges against Mr. Batyrov as politically motivated, his statement at the meeting resulted in a strong reaction from the Kyrgyz delegation in Warsaw. Ismailova and Abdurasulova later were targeted by threats over Kyrgyz media as well as on social media including from elected members of the Kyrgyz Parliament and officials within the Kyrgyz executive branch for not “reacting properly” to Batyrov's presentation.
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 2015 , 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.