Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan has a more diverse media environment than other countries in Central Asia and its civil society actively exercises and defends the right to freedom of expression, having defeated repeated legislative attempts to restrict their activities. Nevertheless, the government seeks to restrict discussion on politically sensitive topics, including inter-ethnic relations and corruption. Journalists, human rights defenders and internet users have faced groundless accusations, extremism, incitement and other criminal and civil charges aimed to prevent discussion on these topics. Broadly termed extremism charges have also been used to periodically block independent websites.  Defamation charges are regularly used to silence investigative journalists and government critics. Attempts to introduce a ban on ‘homosexual propaganda’ have been defeated; however, hate speech and physical violence against LGBT people remain prevalent.

Our work is focused on building the resilience of independent journalists, civil society and activists in Kyrgyzstan to the range of risks that they face. We support local lawyers to defend expression related cases, raising these with international human rights institutions and organise trainings for independent media outlets. Working with local partners, we engage on legislative reform to challenge new restrictions. We also work to increase participation of LGBT activists in broader civil society initiatives, through capacity building, increasing their ability to protect themselves when speaking out, and challenging hate speech.

Political advertisement, campaign financing and freedom of expression
22.09.2020 3 min read

Political advertisement, campaign financing and freedom of expression

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HRC45: States must prioritise free expression amid growing global threats
14.09.2020 10 min read

HRC45: States must prioritise free expression amid growing global threats

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Kyrgyzstan: Draft Law on Countering Terrorism
01.08.2020 4 min read

Kyrgyzstan: Draft Law on Countering Terrorism

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HRC44: Freedom of expression and COVID-19
10.07.2020 4 min read

HRC44: Freedom of expression and COVID-19

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Kyrgyzstan: Law “On Manipulating Information” must be vetoed
03.07.2020 6 min read

Kyrgyzstan: Law “On Manipulating Information” must be vetoed

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29.07.2019 3 min read

Kyrgyzstan: Threats to free expression must be addressed in UPR

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09.07.2019 4 min read

ARTICLE 19 urges Austrian court to halt ‘libel tourism’ case

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21.02.2019 5 min read

Event: Freedom of Religion or Belief and Expression for All

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02.03.2018 3 min read

Challenging hate: Monitoring anti-LGBT “hate speech” and responses to it in Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine

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