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Human rights defenders (HRDs) in Kyrgyzstan are subjected to smear campaigns, attacks, intimidation, and harassment. Although there are no laws in place which directly target the work of HRDs, the legal system still does not offer protection for HRDs due to consistent corruption at all levels of government, the continuous practice of ill-treatment and torture with impunity, and the lack of independence of monitoring and oversight bodies.

The authorities are slow to comply with laws that guarantee the right to access information, public participation, and to monitor state affairs. This results in a lack of tolerance for the work of HRDs who are often accused of promoting and acting for the interests of foreign states and institutions, and therefore compromising national security and betraying Kyrgyzstan’s national interests and values.

Demonstrations critical of government policies or organised by ethnic and/or LGBTI rights organisations, are often dispersed by police or they are not provided with effective protection as guaranteed by the law. Kyrgyz nationalist movements are particularly aggressive towards those who defend the rights of ethnic minorities, such as Uzbeks, who are the biggest minority in the country. The increased harassment of the LGBTI community and rights defenders comes in the context of a draft law introducing criminal and administrative liability for the “promotion of non-traditional sexual relations in an open or indirect way,” which is still under consideration by the Parliament.