The Honorable Sadyr Japarov
President of the Kyrgyz Republic
Dear Mr. President,
The Women’s Learning Partnership is a partnership of autonomous women’s rights organizations throughout the Global South. We support and advocate for women defenders of civil society around the world.
We strongly support our partner in Kyrgyzstan - Human Rights Movement: Bir Duino - in condemning the recently drafted law on “non-commercial non-governmental organizations” in Kyrgyzstan. We also echo their calls for the draft law to be revised to comply with international human rights standards on freedom of assembly, association, and speech and to adhere to the principles of a democratic society. We respectfully request attention to the opinion of the well-known lawyer Kirill Koroteev, who advises the new government of Kyrgyzstan not to overlook the tragic experience of the Russian Federation, which destroyed the fundamental rights of citizens to freedom of association.
We find that the provisions in the draft law violate freedom of association and, as such, international human rights law. If passed in its present form, this would impose harsh restrictions on Kyrgyz civil society organizations working to promote human rights for Kyrgyz citizens. Therefore, we are writing to urge you to take immediate steps to ensure that the draft law is revised.
Bir Duino and Adilet Legal Clinic report that the current draft law contains many discriminatory provisions, including measures that would:
- Strengthen control, including financial control, over the activities of non-profit organizations;
- Forbid foreign citizens and stateless persons from founding non-profit organizations;
- Make the registration process for non-profit organizations convoluted and difficult, but simplify the procedure for closing non-profit organizations;
- Restrict and impinge upon the rights of children, as well as other citizens based on mental, psychological, or other disabilities, from exercising their right to freedom of association by using vague language like “capable citizens;”
- Restrict actions and activities of non-profit organizations by categorizing organizations as “social” or “political” to limit their activities in civil society.
Your esteemed Office is well aware that civil society organizations play a vital role in promoting human rights and protecting the rights of Kyrgyz people and others living in Kyrgyzstan. In doing so, they actively contribute to your efforts to ensure that Kyrgyzstan is an honorable Republic and an example to neighbors and the world.
We respectfully urge you to address the concerns in the new revision of the draft law so that non-profit organizations can continue to support the vibrant and thriving Republic that we know Kyrgyzstan to be.
Women’s Learning Partnership is a partnership of autonomous women’s rights organizations located throughout the Global South. The organization is dedicated to promoting justice and peace through the full participation of women in leadership, civic engagement, and human rights. More information at: www.learningpartnership.org