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HRW: Impunity for domestic violence is still the norm in Kyrgyzstan

Impunity for domestic violence is still the norm in Kyrgyzstan. Annual report of the International Human Rights Organization Human Rights Watch on the human rights situation in more than 100 countries of the world says.

«Despite legislation, including amendments to the Criminal Procedural Code adopted in 2020, which provides better protections for victims of domestic violence, authorities do not fully enforce protective measures or hold perpetrators accountable,» authors of the report say.

In June, after a video emerged on Kyrgyz social media showing a man forcing his wife to stand weighed down by tires while he slapped and doused her with water, police detained and charged him with «cruel treatment,» though only after public outcry. A court convicted him, but only sentenced him to two years’ probation instead of jail time.

As the human rights defenders note, measures put in place to protect women and girls have yet to end impunity for domestic violence, which is still the norm. At a June meeting of the National Council for Women and Gender Development, the Vice Prime Minister Aida Ismailova noted a 65 percent rise in reported cases of domestic violence cases in the first quarter of 2020.

During the COVID-19 related lockdown, the government of Kyrgyzstan did not classify domestic violence services as «essential» to ensure services remained operational, and shelters, crisis centers, and other services were closed to newcomers.