Окт 10.2020


9 October 2020

We, members of the Civic Solidarity Platform (CSP) – a network of human rights NGOs from across Europe, the former Soviet Union and North America –  express our support and solidarity with Kyrgyzstan’s civil society in its efforts to ensure respect for human rights and the rule of law at this time of political crisis and upheaval in the Central Asian country. We call on the authorities of Kyrgyzstan, as well as on all the groups staking claims on power to opt for dialogue and cooperation, refrain from violence, and act strictly within the framework of national and international law with a view to overcoming the current uncertainty, power struggles and threats of lawlessness and to continuing the course of democratic development. To this end, we call in particular for:

  • Inclusive negotiations to agree on urgent measures to end the current standoff, ensure the functioning of state bodies, and facilitate a peaceful transition of power in accordance with the requirements of the country’s constitution and legislation.  
  • Prompt new, free and fair parliamentary elections that fully meet international standards and truly reflect the will of the people.
  • The protection of fundamental rights at this time of crisis, including free speech and media freedom, the right to protest peacefully, freedom of association, the right to democratic participation, the right not to be subjected to torture and ill-treatment nor to be subjected to excessive force, as well at the right to life and security of person.
  • The protection of journalists, human rights defenders and others who monitor and document current developments and assist victims of violations.
  • Consultation with civil society and international institutions on measures needed to resolve the crisis and ensure compliance with Kyrgyzstan’s international obligations.
  • The implementation of effective measures to guarantee the safety of citizens and calm growing societal tensions, including those of a regional and ethnic nature.
  • Commitment to principles of democratic and law-based governance, the separation of powers, the rule of law, anti-corruption, transparency, transitional justice, and accountability for human rights violations, including those perpetrated in connection with the current and previous crises in the country – irrespective of the political or other affiliations of the perpetrators.
  • As soon as the situation permits, thorough and impartial investigations into all allegations of irregularities during the 4 October parliamentary elections, as well as allegations of the use of excessive force and other human rights violations committed in connection with the post-election protests with a view to ensuring that those responsible are held to account.

We also urge Kyrgyzstan’s international partners to use all means at their disposal to promote the positions set out above and to help ensure a peaceful settlement of the current crisis in Kyrgyzstan.

Signed by:

  1. International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR, Belgium)
  2. The Norwegian Helsinki Committee
  3. Bir Duino Human Rights Movement (Kyrgyzstan)
  4. Public Association “Dignity” (Kazakhstan)
  5. Minority Rights Group Europe (Hungary)
  6. Helsinki Committee of Armenia
  7. Macedonian Helsinki Committee
  8. Helsinki Citizens' Assembly – Vanadzor (Armenia)
  9. Swedish OSCE-network
  10. The Barys Zvozskau Belarusian Human Rights House (Lithuania)
  11. IDP Women Association "Consent" (Georgia)
  12. The Georgian Centre for Psychosocial and Medical Rehabilitation of Torture Victims (GCRT)
  13. Promo LEX Association (Moldova)
  14. Bulgarian Helsinki Committee
  15. The Human Rights Center (HRC, Georgia)
  16. Centre for the Development of Democracy and Human Rights (Russia)
  17. DRA (Germany)
  18. Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (HFHR, Poland)
  19. Truth Hounds (Ukraine/Georgia)
  20. Sova Center for Information and Analysis (Russia)
  21. Women of the Don (Russia)
  22. Public Verdict Foundation (Russia)
  23. The Association of Ukrainian Human Rights Monitors on Law Enforcement (UMDPL)
  24. Center for Participation and Development (Georgia)
  25. Netherlands Helsinki Committee
  26. Libereco Partnership for Human Rights (Germany, Switzerland)
  27. Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF, Germany)
  28. Kharkiv regional foundation Public Alternative (Ukraine)
  29. Crude Accountability (United States)
  30. Human Rights House Foundation (Switzerland)
  31. World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT, Switzerland)
  32. Freedom Now (USA)
  33. (Switzerland)


The parliamentary elections held in Kyrgyzstan on 4 October 2020 were marred by allegations of fraud, in particular vote buying and the use of so-called administrative resources during the election campaign to promote support for pro-government candidates. According to the preliminary results, announced in the evening of 4 October, representatives of only four parties had made it into the new parliament: those of three pro-presidential parties and one opposition party. This announcement prompted mass protests by opposition representatives and their supporters in the capital Bishkek and other cities.

The protests on Bishkek’s main Ala-Too Square took place peacefully without interference by law enforcement authorities until the evening of 5 October, when police started dispersing protesters using water cannons, tear gas, flash grenades and rubber bullets following an apparent attempt by some protesters to break into the White House, where the parliament and president are seated. Clashes between police and protesters ensued, resulting in over 600 people being injured and requiring medical treatment with one protester dead. Over one hundred people still remain in hospital, some in a serious condition. There were also reports of attacks on journalists, in connection with the election and the post-election protests, including by police. In the morning of 6 October, some protesters stormed and took control of the White House and other public buildings, and several high-profile prisoners were freed, among them former President Almazbek Atambayev who was being held in pre-trial detention on corruption charges and former MP Sadyr Japarov who was serving a prison sentence for hostage taking.

On 6 October, the Central Election Commission annulled the results of the parliamentary elections, but no date for new elections has been set up to now. Following the post-election protests, several top officials left their positions but President Sooronbay Jeenbekov currently remains in office, in spite of calls for his resignation and an attempt to impeach him. However, on 9 October, he announced his readiness to step down “after legitimate executive authorities are approved”, and signed a decree approving the resignation of Prime Minister Kubatbek Boronov and his cabinet.

At this time, different political groups, including so-called coordination councils are seeking to assume control in the country with appointments of public officials being made outside the legal framework and representatives of the old nomenclature seeking to regain power. As a result, there is a lack of clarity as to who is in power and the situation remains highly volatile. There have also been reports of looting and growing insecurity among residents, and there are concerns that tensions – including those of a regional and ethnic nature – may further increase. On 9 October, clashes between protesters in Bishkek resulted in several people being injured, and several political figures alleging that their cars had been shot at. The president declared a state of emergency in the capital, a regime that allows for introducing a curfew, a ban on assemblies and other restrictive measures.

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Feedback from our focus groups



Experience should be attached to a law degree

Shakhboz Latipov, 24 y.o., young lawyer: “When I came to BDK for an internship, I had no experience in legal and human rights activities. Together with experienced senior colleagues, I began to attend trials, studied documents. Gradually my supervisor Khusanbai Saliev began to trust me the preparation of documents, carefully checked them and gave practical advice. Experience comes with time and cases you work on. Every day dozens of people who need help come to us, many of them are from socially vulnerable groups: the poor, large families, elderly citizens. A lawyer in a human rights organization sometimes acts as a psychologist, it is important for him to be able to maintain professionalism and show empathy. At the end of 2019, I successfully passed the exam to get the right to start working as attorney and now I work on cases as an attorney. I turn to my colleagues for help on complex issues, they always give me their advice. This is one of the strengths of the organization: there is support and understanding here.”



Organization unites regions

Feruza Amadalieva, social worker, leader, teacher: “TOT from BDK is a great opportunity to get acquainted with participants from different regions, we continue to communicate on social media and when we meet at events, as close friends, we have such warm relations! At the events, I improved my knowledge, systematized it, clarified how to apply it in practice. I really like the training modules and the way the system of training and practice is built: role-playing games, theory, discussions. Each person expresses himself/herself. I have become a leader for other vulnerable women, I try to help them and engage them in such events.” Feruza Amadalieva is a regular participant of many BDK events, she invites the BDK lawyers to provide legal advice to vulnerable women.



I became confident

In summer of 2019, Nuriza Talantbek kyzy took an active part in conducting regional screenings of documentaries, helped with organizational issues during the campaign dedicated to the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, participated in trips, and did the TOT on women's leadership. She used to be a migrant, worked for an NGO in Osh, and now works in Bishkek in the service industry. She calls her participation in the TOT “an invaluable experience”: “I first attended such an event, and received exactly the information that I needed, for which I am sincerely grateful to the facilitators. I experienced very difficult issues in my life, and thanks to that knowledge, I was able to overcome them, I persevered! After the TOT, I became more confident, began to better understand the essence of human rights, and learned to defend my interests.”



The defendant has passed away. The work on his rehabilitation continues.

The case of Shukurullo Kochkarov shows that work on complex cases continues for many years. After the torture he was subjected to in 2010, he became disabled. We managed to get acquittal on one of the charges; the work is ongoing on achieving his rehabilitation and recognition as a victim of torture in order for compensation to be paid. Trials continue without Shukurullo Kochkarov - he died on 2 August 2019. His interests are represented by his father, Saidaziz Kochkarov, who also has a visual disability. “For many years, we have been supported by the employees of BDK, they have been handling the case of my son, they brought him to court because he couldn’t walk on his own, they constantly help our family: my wife and I underwent rehabilitation, they have helped my son by providing him with medicines, they provide all kinds of help”.



Comprehensive support for victims of torture

Resident of the Kara-Suu district, Dilyor Jumabaev, has extensive experience in dealing with law enforcement agencies. In 2010, he was accused of possessing firearms, and thanks to the work of lawyers, he was acquitted. Two years later, his house was first searched in order to find materials of an extremist nature, but nothing was found. In 2014, he was accused of possessing extremist materials. In court, the prosecutor requested 15 years in prison; the court sentenced him to 6 years. A few years later he was released on parole. “I am grateful to the lawyers of BDK for their expert legal assistance. I participated in a rehabilitation program for victims of torture. When I encounter violations, I recommend contacting this organization.”


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