Freedom from torture. Compliance with the law

Июн 24.2021

Press release issued by Human Rights Movement "Bir Duino Kyrgyzstan",

 timed to coincide with June 26, International Day in Support of Victims of Torture and Ill-treatment

Since 2018, Bir Duino Kyrgyzstan has been implementing the project "Protecting the rights of victims of torture and ill-treatment" with the support of the UN Voluntary Fund. Thanks to the long-term help, legal assistance of the high quality is available to vulnerable citizens in the form of consultations received by phone, online and in person, as well as through assistance in drafting documents, when interacting with the government agencies and representing the interests of citizens at the stage of investigation and in the courts of Kyrgyzstan. When national mechanisms are exhausted, victims of torture receive legal advice in preparation of complaints to the UN Human Rights Committee.

Within a year, the organization carries out work on 16-20 strategic trials with the aim of bringing to justice individuals involved in acts of torture and receiving compensation. This is a complex, systematic and long-term work that requires deep knowledge in the field of jurisprudence and high commitment of lawyers.

Annually, about 200 citizens approach the organization's offices in Osh and Bishkek requesting assistance on issues of protection from torture and ill-treatment. Last year, due to the spread of coronavirus and quarantine, the number of requests slightly decreased. In comparison: 54 consultations were provided in the first six months of 2020, and 69 consultations in the same period of 2021. The number of women applied has increased. Relatives of convicts subjected to torture and ill-treatment often seek help. Of the total number of applicants, 50% are relatives (in comparison, last year relatives comprised 44% of the total number of applicants). By ethnic nationality, the majority are Uzbek; the number of applications from citizens of Kyrgyz nationality has been increasing.

When investigating the case on acts of torture, there is a number of systemic barriers associated with the specifics of national legislation. According to the article 155 of the Criminal Code of the Kyrgyz Republic, pre-trial proceedings in criminal cases should be completed no later than 2 months from the date of notification of the person who is suspected in committing a crime. This rule enables the investigation officials to delay the pre-trial proceedings for an indefinite period. Besides, the lawyers underline the issues of quality of forensic, which affect the course of further investigation. In practice, less serious charges are used, for example, exceeding of authority instead of abuse of authority. Despite these and other difficulties, the work to protect citizens’ rights does not stop.

Bir Duino Kyrgyzstan closely cooperates with state human rights institutions, public organizations and legal community. With the assistance of the BDK partners, in particular, the PF “Voice of Freedom”, the victims of torture and their family members have the opportunity to undergo full rehabilitation.

Human rights defenders call for the manifestation of intolerance to torture and ill-treatment. It is necessary to promote the Mandella’s principles in closed institutions to prevent violations of citizens’ fundamental rights.

Joining efforts in the fight against torture contributes to the formation of an independent judiciary, ensures justice and equal access to the protection of citizens’ rights, excluding discrimination and violence.




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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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