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EU concerned about legislative initiatives of Kyrgyzstan

The European Union (EU) and the Kyrgyz Republic held their tenth round of the annual Human Rights Dialogue via video conference. Delegation of the European Union to the Kyrgyz Republic reported.

The parties discussed developments in the human rights situation in the Kyrgyz Republic and in the EU since the last dialogue and in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The EU expressed concern as regards restrictions on the freedom of peaceful assembly and information, as well as the high increase of gender-based- and domestic violence during the peak of the pandemic.

«The EU reiterated its concern over controversial legislative initiatives, namely on Trade Unions; Non-Commercial Organizations; Manipulation of information; revision of the Criminal Procedure code, which would contravene Kyrgyzstan’s obligations under the relevant international conventions. Individual cases were also discussed, including the ongoing investigation as regards the death in prison of the human rights defender, Azimzhan Askarov,» the statement says.

The EU welcomed the important work carried out by the national human rights institutions, in particular the Ombudsman and the National Preventive Mechanism. The EU reiterated the need to ensure the uninterrupted work of these institutions, particularly in times of the coronavirus crisis.

The EU and the Kyrgyz Republic also elaborated on the progress in measures and mechanisms to prevent the use of torture and ill-treatment.

The EU and Kyrgyzstan discussed the freedom of expression, including freedom of the media. The EU called on the Kyrgyz authorities to maintain and protect an open media environment as an important enabler for free, competitive and transparent parliamentary elections on October 4. The parties addressed cooperation with civil society, as well as issues of good governance, including the rights of the members of minority groups and the fight against corruption.

The next round of the EU-Kyrgyz Republic Human Rights Dialogue will be held in Brussels in 2021.