Kyrgyzstan reviewed by the UPR despite political turmoil
Tuesday, 11 May 2010 17:19

On 3 May 2010 Kyrgyzstan underwent its examination by the Working Group on the UPR, despite the domestic challenges currently facing its interim government. Civil strife erupted on 6 April 2010 in the town of Talas, quickly spreading to the capital city of Bishkek and resulting in at least 80 deaths and hundreds of injuries. President Kurmanbek Bakiyev’s offices were attacked by demonstrators, and on 15 April 2010 Bakiyev fled the country with his family. He is currently in exile in neighbouring Kazakhstan, having signed an official letter of resignation.


States commended Kyrgyzstan’s six-member, high-level delegation, led by Deputy Minister of Justice Ms Jyldyz Mambetalieva, for its engagement in the UPR process in the face of its national situation. They also expressed appreciation for positive steps the State has taken in particular in the areas of gender equality and child rights. Ms Mambetalieva’s opening statement focused on the challenges the State faces with regard to high poverty levels, gender equality and children’s rights. The main concerns, questions and recommendations expressed by State speakers centred on the following issues:

  • In the face of the current domestic conflict, ensure as quickly as possible the protection of human rights and the rule of law.
  • Ensure fairness, transparency and adherence to international standards in the constitutional referendum to be held on 27 June 2010, and the parliamentary elections slated for 10 October 2010. Consider extending an invitation to international observers to these upcoming election processes.
  • Protect the right to freedom of assembly, which was restricted in a July 2008 law, and bring the current enforcement of this right into line with international standards; train armed forces and police in this right; expedite the approval of a bill protecting freedom of assembly.
  • Protect the rights to freedom of expression and the press, and in particular ensure the safety of journalists and human rights defenders, ending impunity for the perpetrators of violence against them; remove provisions in criminal code for prosecuting journalists for libel.
  • Promote all facets of gender equality, and continue support for women at the local and national levels of politics. Combat domestic violence, bride kidnapping, forced marriages and polygamy. Although gender equality and women’s rights are guaranteed in the constitution, many State speakers expressed concern that the implementation of the law remains weak on the ground.
  • Strengthen measures to protect children, including to combat child labour, end corporal punishment and violence against children, continue improvements to education, and make efforts to combat the dropout rate and provide tailored programs for special needs children.
  • Reform justice system to bring it in line with international standards, including the establishment of a juvenile judiciary.
  • Set up a system of independent monitoring for all places of detention in order to ensure safeguards against the torture of inmates, particularly juveniles.
  • Become party to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances, and the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and issue a standing invitation to all special procedures of the Human Rights Council.
  • Establish a national human rights institution in accordance with the Paris Principles, and strengthen the mandate of the national ombudsman.
  • Other issues raised included recommendations to pursue policies toward the alleviation and eradication of poverty, to eliminate restrictions on freedom of religion, protect the rights of ethnic minorities; end discrimination against asylum seekers and ensure non-refoulement; and continue efforts in combating terrorism, human trafficking and the narcotics trade. 
  • The delegation of Kyrgyzstan responded twice to questions and concerns. On the often-raised question of freedom of expression and media independence, the delegation maintained that this is protected in the constitution; however, it also noted that there were instances of attempts to publish ‘unbalanced information’ and there had therefore been a ‘need to place certain electronic media under control.’

Three States were unable to take the floor because of a lack of time. The report of the Working Group was adopted on 5 May. Notably, the government accepted 127 of the 168 recommendations made, and did not reject any. The 41 remaining recommendations were left pending and a response will be provided prior to the adoption of the outcome at the Council’s September 2010 session. The delegation explained that it sees the high number of accepted recommendations as an effort by the provisional government to build a democratic and free State.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 August 2010 07:52
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