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US Department of State states problems with human rights in Kyrgyzstan

The US Department of State stated the problems with observance of human rights in Kyrgyzstan. This is said in the department’s annual report for 2016.

It is noted that the most significant human rights problems reported have included the violation of the fundamental procedural safeguards in the courts, persecution of local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), activists and journalists, attacks, threats and systematic extortion from representatives of sexual and ethnic minorities by the police.

There are also problems, such as inappropriate conditions in prisons, arbitrary arrests, torture by law enforcement officials, pressure on independent media, and restriction of freedom of religion. There is also widespread corruption, discrimination and violence against women, disabled people, ethnic and religious minorities and individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Department of State report states that despite the fact that the authorities investigated the allegations of abuses by members of the security services and other bodies, examples of the successful prosecution and punishment of officials accused of violating human rights or complicity in trafficking were rare.

«Impunity remained a serious problem. The Coalition Against Torture also received complaints of torture and send them to the Prosecutor General’s Office to facilitate investigations. In the first eight months of 2016, it received 86 complaints of torture. According to members of the Coalition Against Torture, cases against allegedly guilty persons did not lead to sentencing," the Department of State stressed.

The Department of State also noted that, as in previous years, NGOs and monitoring organizations, including Voice of Freedom, Bir Duino, Human Rights Watch, Justice, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and OSCE registered complains of arbitrary arrests in their reports. Most of the observers claimed that it was impossible to know the true number of such cases, because most were not reported. According to NGOs, arrests and harassment of persons allegedly participating in extremist religious groups, predominantly the ethnic Uzbeks, continue in the southern part of the country.