OSCE PA human rights leaders regret dismissal of Ombudsman in Kyrgyzstan, express concern over decision to shutter RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service

COPENHAGEN, 27 April 2023 – The leaders of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions today expressed concern over recent developments in Kyrgyzstan. The Parliament’s dismissal of Ombudsperson Atyr Abdrakhmatova and a court’s decision to close Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty have grave implications for independent human rights institutions and freedom of the media in the country, the OSCE parliamentarians said.

In a joint statement, Nikoloz Samkharadze (Georgia), Farah Karimi (Netherlands), and Johan Büser (Sweden) – the Chair, Vice-Chair and Rapporteur, respectively, of the OSCE PA’s human rights committee – said the following:

“We deeply regret the decision of the Parliamentary Committee for Constitutional Legislation, Governance, Judicial and Legislative Affairs to dismiss Ombudsperson Atyr Abdrakhmatova, as well as a Bishkek court’s decision to shut down the operations of RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service. Both of these actions appear to stem from events related to clashes along a disputed segment of the Kyrgyz-Tajik border, and specifically in the case of Ombudsman Abdrakhmatova, recent comments by government officials indicate that her dismissal could be in retaliation for her criticism of the 23 October 2022 arrests of 25 activists, bloggers, and politicians who disagreed with the government over the border issue.

Both the Ombudsman’s dismissal and the decision to close RFE/RL are discouraging signs regarding Kyrgyzstan’s commitment to human rights principles and freedom of the media. This underlines a need for greater institutional protections for ombudsman institutions across the OSCE, as well as a recommitment to freedom of the media. Specifically, Kyrgyzstan should consider removing the provision in the law on the ombudsman that allows members of parliament to prematurely dismiss the ombudsman, which could violate the internationally recognized standards for independence and accountability of national human rights institutions.”



Nat Parry

Head of Communications and Press

Office: +45 33 37 80 55
Mobile: +45 60 10 81 77
Email: [email protected]

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