Kyrgyzstan-Overview

Although civil society has grown in recent years and is diverse and vibrant, the sector’s public image has recently been damaged because of the efforts of pro-Russian media who try to discredit NGOs. Civil society is quite active in most parts of the country but more heavily constrained in Osh and Jalalabad. Although most civil society organisations can operate without interference, human rights defenders promoting the rights of LGBTI people or Uzbek people face particularly serious threats. Attempts to introduce a foreign agent’s law in Kyrgyzstan have recently failed. Protest rights are legally protected but authorities sometimes break up peaceful protests as do violent nationalist groups, which also target LGBTI activists. Although the media is relatively vibrant, journalists and human rights defenders are sometimes arrested prosecuted and imprisoned for speaking out or exposing human rights abuses. Uzbek-language media is persecuted.