Annual Report: Kyrgyzstan 2013

May 23, 2013

Annual Report: Kyrgyzstan 2013

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Head of state Almaz Atambaev

Head of government Zhantoro Satibaldiev (replaced Omurbek Babanov)

Torture and other ill-treatment remained pervasive throughout the country and law enforcement and judicial authorities failed to act on such allegations. The authorities continued to fail to impartially and effectively investigate the June 2010 violence and its aftermath and provide justice for the thousands of victims of serious crimes and human rights violations, including crimes against humanity. Ethnic Uzbeks continued to be targeted disproportionately for detention and prosecution in relation to the June 2010 violence.

Torture and other ill-treatment

Torture and other ill-treatment persisted, despite the development of a comprehensive national programme on combating torture, based on the recommendations of the UN Special Rapporteur on torture, and the adoption of a law on the establishment of a National Centre for the Prevention of torture and other ill-treatment.

The Special Rapporteur reported in February that incidents of torture and other ill-treatment to extract confessions “remained widespread”. He further observed, “that, in practice, there is no clear procedure in place prescribing the measures to be taken by courts should evidence appear to have been obtained through torture or ill-treatment. Furthermore, in practice, there appears to be no instruction to the courts with regard to implementing that rule or ordering an immediate, impartial and effective investigation if the rule is violated.”

He noted that in contrast to the actions taken and statements made by the current and former Presidents and the Prosecutor General, he had not heard of any instructions “communicated by the responsible officials of the Ministry of the Interior [Ministry of Internal Affairs] to condemn torture and ill-treatment or to declare unambiguously that torture and ill-treatment by police officers would not be tolerated”.

  • Anna Ageeva, a pregnant 18-year-old woman, was detained by police officers in Bishkek on 11 September on suspicion of murder and held incommunicado for three days in Sverdlovsk District police station. During this time, she alleged that police officers dragged her by her hair, handcuffed her to a radiator and kicked and punched her in the stomach and kidneys to force her to confess to the murder of another young woman. A lawyer from the NGO Kylym Shamy submitted a complaint about the torture to the Sverdlovsk District Prosecutor. Three other suspects, including 17-year-old Aidiana Toktasunova, also detained in relation to the same murder, similarly complained to the District Prosecutor's Office that police officers had tortured them to extract confessions. The Ministry of Internal Affairs dismissed the torture allegations as “absurd” and stated that their investigations had found no evidence of any wrong-doing by police officers. The District Prosecutor's Office opened a criminal investigation into the allegations in October.
  • In November, the human rights organization Spravedlivost (Justice) wrote to the Prosecutor General requesting that she personally supervise an investigation into allegations that eight detainees in the centre for temporary detention (IVS) in Jalal-Abad had been ill-treated by over a dozen police officers. Spravedlivost had visited the IVS after being alerted to the violations by relatives of some of the detainees.

The detainees reported that police officers beat them in the face, skull and body. They stripped the detainees naked and forced them to run. The regional Ombudsman visited the IVS two days after Spravedlivost and met with all 42 detainees at the facility, 37 of whom confirmed that they had been ill-treated. In turn she asked the Regional Prosecutor's Office to investigate these allegations. The Ministry of Internal Affairs also conducted an internal investigation, but claimed to have found no evidence of any ill-treatment.