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175 organizations urge deputies not to support scandalous amendment on NGOs

Representatives of 175 NGOs appealed to parliament members of Kyrgyzstan with a request not to support the scandalous amendment requiring from non-profit organizations to report on sources of their funding.

According to human rights defenders, the bill, which is being stubbornly pushed forward by the initiators, contradicts the president’s initiatives in the direction of development of civil society institutions in Kyrgyzstan, which is reflected in the National Sustainable Development Strategy of the Kyrgyz Republic for 2018-2040.

«The true goal of the deputies-initiators is to discredit and demonize organizations that oppose unfair laws and state practices, challenge corruption, demand justice, equality, dignified treatment and freedom. All the accusations against NGOs from the side of the initiators of the bill are not only unreasonable and far-fetched, but are also a deliberate misrepresentation, given that over the years of independence of Kyrgyzstan there has not been a single fact of using NGOs to the detriment of Kyrgyzstan. We are firmly convinced that organizations that pose a threat to national security should be detected on the facts of violation of the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic and the relevant legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic, and not by establishing bureaucratic barriers and total checks of law-abiding NGOs,» the appeal says.

We, the leaders and activists of public organizations in Kyrgyzstan, strongly protest the campaign launched by the initiators to discredit the activities of the non-governmental sector and bring unfounded accusations.

Leaders of Kyrgyz NGOs

Civil activists note that the bill is riddled with the idea that «foreign aid for NGOs is a destabilizing force that threatens Kyrgyzstan.» However, the largest part of foreign aid to Kyrgyzstan is provided through state bodies. It is specified that since independence, Kyrgyzstan has accepted foreign aid for more than $ 9 billion, 70 percent of which are loans, the external debt ratio is 60 percent of the country’s GDP.

As of today, the state debt is more than $ 4 billion.

Human rights defenders claim that the activities of NGOs are in strict accordance with the legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic and are dictated by the interests of protecting human rights and building a democratic state, the goals established by the Constitution.

The persistent promotion of the discriminatory law on additional artificial reporting, which arouses rejection of both NGOs themselves and the justified criticism of international experts for significant deviations from recognized standards in the field of citizens’ rights to association, will undoubtedly have an extremely negative impact on the country’s democratic development.

«We believe that this bill poses a threat to the security of our country, as it contradicts the Constitution of Kyrgyzstan,» representatives of the civil sector stress in their address.

Recall, on March 4, the Parliament of Kyrgyzstan adopted amendments to the law on NGOs, obliging non-profit organizations to report on sources of funding, in the first reading. Human rights activists called it discriminatory and asked the initiators to withdraw the bill.