Outcomes of the round table Respect for Human Rights While Countering Extremism in the OSCE Region.

Ноя 20.2021

On 16-17 November, 2021 at the Park Hotel, the round table Respect for Human Rights While Countering Extremism in the OSCE Region, was held by the Human Rights Movement "Bir Duino Kyrgyzstan" and the Ombudsman Institution of the Kyrgyz Republic.

This event complies with the message of the President of the Kyrgyz Republic S.N. Japarov to the participants of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly and the concerns voiced by him about the situation in Afghanistan and the security issues coming to the fore for Central Asia, his initiatives to create a Center in Bishkek to counter international organized crime[1].

On the opening day of the event, the director of the HRM "Bir Duino Kyrgyzstan" Tolekan Ismailova, stressed the importance of promotion of such values as human rights and respect for human dignity by the OSCE participating states, the need to promote the recommendations set out in the manual "Guidelines on Human Rights and the Fight against Terrorism within the OSCE framework", and the saying of Sergio Vieira de Mello, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, in 2002: "The best - the only - strategy to isolate and defeat terrorism is by respecting human rights, fostering social justice, enhancing democracy and up law."[2]

In his speech, the First Deputy Secretary of the Security Council of the KR Melis Satybaldiev indicated that the fight against extremism and terrorism requires efforts and consolidation to develop actions, and law enforcement agencies should not forget about the fundamental, inviolable human rights enshrined in ratified international documents, the Constitution and national legislation. In case of abuse of authority, law enforcement officers should be held accountable in accordance with the law. The State policy adheres to the observance of human rights, and the work of the Security Council secretariat is also based on these principles. Currently, the Concept of National Security of the Kyrgyz Republic is being prepared for adoption, it includes issues of countering extremism and terrorism, taking into account respect for human rights.

Thus, the international round table has become a dialogue platform for representatives of civil society and government agencies to discuss human rights issues in the fight against extremism.  Experts, human rights lawyers from Kyrgyzstan, Germany, Poland, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, with representatives of the state bodies of the Security Council of the Kyrgyz Republic, the Jogorku Kenesh of the KR, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the KR, the State Penitentiary Service of the KR, the NCPT of the KR discussed recommendations developed by working groups on improving legislation, expert opinions, observance of the right to freedom of speech in the Kyrgyz Republic in accordance with OSCE participating States' obligations and other international standards and obligations of Kyrgyzstan in the field of human rights.

As a result, a resolution was adopted in which the participants took into account the new risks and disasters associated with strengthening of radical fundamentalism in the Central Asia region, including the situation in Afghanistan, to promote the values of the OSCE Human Dimension and expressed their readiness to:

  • provide the necessary assistance to improve national legislation in the field of preventing and countering violent extremism and terrorism;
  • be open to dialogue and cooperation, both within the international expert community and with government representatives;
  • call on all interested parties, including civil society and public authorities, to support this document and actively contribute to strengthening the principles of democracy and the rule of law in the region.

Based on the results of the discussions, three working groups developed the following recommendations:

  • The main recommendations of the working group on changes in anti-extremist legislation concerned the following:
  • The legal definition of extremism should be changed in the Law of the Kyrgyz Republic "On Countering Extremist Activity", so that this concept refers only to actions related in one way or another to use of violence. The definition of extremist activity in the law should be as clear as possible, excluding an expansive interpretation.
  • The Supreme Court should summarize judicial practice in cases involving extremism and develop a Plenum resolution with explanations regarding the consideration of such criminal cases.
  • Part 2 of paragraph 4, Article 82 of the Criminal Code of the KR should be amended so as to ensure the possibility of establishing probation supervision for convicts under articles on less serious crimes involving extremism.
  • Production and distribution of extremist materials and symbols, currently forming the Article 315 (333) of the Criminal Code of the KR should be excluded from the criminally punishable acts.
  • In order to prevent extremist crimes, measures should be taken to raise public awareness about the content of lists of banned organizations and materials and ensure regular publication of court decisions on cases of extremism on websites of the courts of the Kyrgyz Republic.
  • The main recommendations of the working group on expert opinions:
  • Create and develop independent academic expert groups, communities, as well as an international register of expert methods;
  • Create a list of independent expert institutions, including foreign ones;
  • Train journalists to work with the expert community, develop forensic journalism;
  • Create a public platform for evaluating the work of experts, compile a public rating of experts;
  • Strengthen responsibility for giving false expert opinions;
  • Create a test for judges to assess the competence of experts (like the Duber's test);
  • Create a special website and introduce a norm obliging to publish expert opinions, together with court decisions on the website;
  • Freedom of speech group: summons for interrogation are used by law enforcement agencies as a measure of prosecution for critical statements:
  • Publishing some kind of criticism of the authorities does not violate public order, and the national security of the country is not endangered in such cases. By criticizing the actions of the authorities, a person exercises his constitutional right to express an opinion;
  • The legislation provides for an exhaustive list of negative information, the dissemination of which may entail criminal liability, and investigative actions, including interrogations, are allowed in such cases:

 - public incitement to carry out terrorist activities (Article 242 of the Criminal Code);

 - calls for active disobedience to legitimate demands of representatives of authorities and mass riots, as well as calls for violence against citizens (Part 3 of Article 264 of the Criminal Code);

- public calls for the forcible seizure or forcible retention of power, as well as for the forcible change of the constitutional order, propaganda of war (310 CC);

  • The fact that a person is publicly summoned for questioning contributes to the disciplined behavior of law enforcement officers, their conscientious compliance with all procedural requirements and prevention of abuse of law;
  • Involvement of the legal community and appeals to the Ombudsman Institution;
  • Actions (inaction) and decisions of an investigative authority, investigator, head of an investigative unit, prosecutor and the court may be appealed by participants of criminal proceedings, as well as other persons, if the procedural actions (inaction) or decisions affect their interests (Article 127 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the KR).
  • Not the "duty" to warn about the non-disclosure of pre-trial data should be established, but the "right" of the investigator, which he can exercise if there are legal grounds for that.

International round table:

  • It has been initiated in partnership with members of the Civic Solidarity Platform (@Civic Solidarity Platform), @ARTICLE19 and the SOVA Center for Information and Analysis within the framework of the International Festival of Documentary Films on Human Rights "Bir Duino Kyrgyzstan-2021" devoted to Human Rights During the Period of Risks and Disasters.
  • It has been held with the support of the German Federal Foreign Office within the framework of the project "Strengthening Civil Society Cooperation in the OSCE Region with Regards to Security, Human Rights, Conflict Resolution, and Gender Equality". 

HRM "Bir Duino Kyrgyzstan": website: birduino.kg ;

e-mail: b irduinokyrgyzstan@gmail.com ; contact phone numbers: +996 312 317671, + 996 550 184095.


[1] https://news.un.org/ru/story/2021/09/1410302

[2] https://www.osce.org/files/f/documents/f/9/29104.pdf



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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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