Human rights defenders in Kyrgyzstan continue to be subjected to harassment, and face restrictions on freedom of expression, assembly and association. Family members of human rights defenders also face threats, harassment and persecution. The authorities systematically fail to investigate these incidents and to bring those responsible to justice. In several cases, perpetrators operate with the complicity of law enforcement agents.
The judiciary is not independent. The malfunctioning of the judicial system is aggravated by high level of corruption. Serious and systematic violations of fair trial guarantees persist, and affect HRDs facing charges. The use of torture in prison and especially in pre-trial detention facilities remains widespread.
In connection to the ethnic clashes between Kyrgyz and Uzbek groups that occurred in the southern part of the country in 2010, there was a significant increase in the use of arbitrary arrest and detention, forced confession under the use of torture, denial of access to a lawyer, threats and extortion of money in exchange for dropping or mitigating charges. The lack of a serious investigation into the clashes affected human rights defenders.