On 17 May 2023, at 9:30 a.m., a session of the Constitutional Court of the KR will be held, at which the petition of the Human Rights Movement "Bir Duino - Kyrgyzstan" will be considered on recognition of paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 17 of the Law of the KR on Non-Profit Organizations as contradicting Articles 2 (Part 2), 8 (Part 1), 23 (Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5), 32 ( Parts 1, 2), 36 of the Constitution of the KR.
Article 36 of the Constitution of the KR guarantees everyone the right to freedom of association, which is the basic value of society and the State. This right may be restricted only for the purpose of protecting national security, public order, public health and morals, and protecting the rights and freedoms of people.
The opening ceremony of the XVI International Festival of Documentary Films on Human Rights "Bir Duino-Kyrgyzstan 2022" was held on 14 November 2022, in Bishkek at "Bellagio Premium", Avangard Business Center, from 6 to 9 p.m. Representatives of government services, international and national experts, representatives of embassies and international organizations, as well as filmmakers and civic activists took part in the ceremony. This year the festival was held under the slogan "Climate and Crises: the Situation with the Fundamental Rights of Citizens, Alternatives for the SDGs".
"The key topic is human rights in times of crises and disasters, because during such a period of trials it is important to find alternative strategies to promote Sustainable Development Goals. This is possible only if human rights and freedoms are respected and citizens participate equally in the decision-making process at all levels of government."
The current law on NGOs in Kyrgyzstan was adopted in 1999. Since then, the Kyrgyz authorities have repeatedly raised the idea of tightening control over NGOs. For instance, between 2013 and 2016, the Jogorku Kenesh (Parliament of Kyrgyzstan) attempted to introduce a "foreign agent" clause into the legislation. Each time, public criticism of the bill deterred the authorities from taking such repressive measures. However, amendments to the law adopted in 2021 imposed onerous reporting obligations on NGOs, requiring them to disclose their sources of income and areas of expenditure, effectively limiting freedom of association. On November 3, 2022, the Constitutional Court of the Kyrgyz Republic took up an appeal to review the constitutionality of the 2021 amendments, following a motion by Tolekan Ismailova, director of the human rights movement Bir Duino.
“The Kyrgyz authorities say they protect freedom of expression, yet try to silence critical voices and clamp down on independent media through criminal investigations and bogus charges,” said Syinat Sultanalieva, Central Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The authorities should release Taalaibek Duishenbiev, and drop all unfounded charges against him and other media targets that violate the right to freedom of expression.”
Despite the reduction in the number of jobs in Russia and depreciation of the ruble, the Cabinet of Ministers of Kyrgyzstan does not expect a mass return of compatriots. They believe that even if they do return, it will not be for long, as it was the case during the lockdown. The Minister of Economy Daniyar Amangeldiev is sure that Kyrgyz nationals, who were laid off, will find other jobs. If not, the Cabinet will try to redirect them to other countries, as there are few vacancies in Kyrgyzstan.
Toktakunov was involved in the defense of one of the human rights activists who demonstrated the war on Ukraine outside the Russian Embassy in Bishkek on 17 March 2022. During the protest itself, he was video recorded in conversation with police officers outside the Russian Embassy where he made negative remarks about the country’s judges in general. On this basis, judge Ubaibullo Satinkulov sentenced Toktakunov to 5 days jail.
As of November 19, inflation reached 12.1 percent in Kyrgyzstan in annual terms. Prices have increased by 9.5 percent since the beginning of 2021. The National Bank of Kyrgyzstan provided such data. The emerging dynamics of consumer prices is influenced by various non-monetary shocks. The main factors behind the current rise in prices are a steady growth of prices on the world food markets, an increase in tariffs and regulated prices — public transport fares and electricity tariffs. In addition, there is a significant increase in prices for fuels and lubricants associated with the global trend of rising prices for energy resources
The initial completion date to review and, where appropriate, amend 356 laws was set for December 31, 2021, but it should be extended, to allow for a newly elected parliament to familiarize itself with the process and for proper engagement with civil society and other relevant stakeholders. Rather than pressuring working groups tasked with the review to speed up, Kyrgyzstan should set an example by following international standards on good governance, including for drafting and adopting laws.
The lawmakers in Kyrgyzstan must use the expertise of its workers’ unions and the ILO to assist in any legislative process to regulate labour relations. This will achieve the best outcome for working people in the country.
The huge mercury mine at Aidarken in Kyrgyzstan once supplied the entire Soviet Union. It now produces a fraction of its former output, with many of its shafts still filled with floodwaters that took it out of service from 2009 to 2019.