1. The Committee considered
the initial report of the Kyrgyz Republic (CCPR/C/113/Add.1) at its 1841st,
1842nd and 1843rd meetings (CCPR/C/SR.1741-1743), held on 11 and 12 July
2000, and adopted the following concluding observations at its 1754th
and 1755th meetings (CCPR/C/SR.1754-1755), held on 19 and 20 July 2000.
2. The Committee has examined
the detailed and comprehensive initial report of the Kyrgyz Republic,
covering events since the country's independence. It appreciates the frankness
with which the report and the delegation acknowledged the problems and
shortcomings still encountered in the implementation of the human rights
contained in the Covenant and the State party's willingness to provide
further information and statistics in writing. It regrets the delay in
the submission and consideration of the initial report.
3. The Committee commends
the State party, which still is in a difficult period of transition, for
undertaking the process of bringing its legislation into harmony with
its international obligations. It notes the status conferred on the Covenant
in the domestic legal order and appreciates that its provisions are directly
applicable. It notes the ratification of a number of human rights treaties
and the enactment of important legislation, including a new code of criminal
procedure. It welcomes the efforts recently undertaken to sensitize the
population concerning human rights standards, and the growing role played
by civil society in the Kyrgyz Republic. It commends the willingness of
the delegation to recognize the positive contributions of non-governmental
organizations and election observers, including international observers.
4. The Committee notes the
establishment of a Commission on Human Rights as an advisory body to the
President of the Republic, as well as of the Parliamentary Committee on
Human Rights. It further notes the steps taken towards the establishment
of the post of an independent Commissioner of Human Rights.
5. The Committee welcomes
the information provided by the delegation that individuals have, in principle,
the right to petition the Constitutional Court in cases of alleged breach
of their rights protected by the Constitution, as well as by the Covenant,
but notes that this remedy has not been used so far.
C. Principal subjects of concern and recommendations
6. The Committee notes that
the general public in the Kyrgyz Republic, as well as public officials,
remain insufficiently aware of the Covenant and its Optional Protocol
and the accompanying mechanisms.
Measures should be taken to
enhance awareness of the Covenant, and its Optional Protocol through a
programme of dissemination of human rights texts and the systematic training
of all persons involved in the administration of justice, in particular
judges, lawyers, prosecutors and prison personnel.
7. The Committee is gravely
concerned about instances of torture, inhuman treatment and abuse of power
by law enforcement officials.
The State party should amend
the Criminal Code to ensure that acts of torture are indictable offences,
and that all allegations of torture are properly investigated and the
persons responsible prosecuted (Covenant, article 7). Complaints about
torture and other abuses by officials should be investigated by independent
bodies. Provision should be made for medical examination of detained persons,
particularly of persons held in pre-trial detention, in order to ensure
that no physical abuse of detainees occurs. The State party should institute
an independent system of monitoring all places of detention with the purpose
of preventing torture and other abuses of power by law enforcement officials.
8. While noting the current
moratorium on carrying out death sentences, the Committee is concerned
about the current situation with regard to capital punishment and about
the number of persons currently detained under sentence of death.
The Committee commends the
State party for having imposed a moratorium on the execution of capital
punishment and urges the State party to extend it indefinitely and to
commute the sentences of those persons currently on death row. The Committee
commends the State party for abolishing the death penalty for women, but
points out that retention of the death penalty for men alone is incompatible
with its obligations under articles 2, 3 and 26 of the Covenant. The State
party should ensure equality by abolishing the death penalty for all persons.
9. The Committee is concerned
about the number of persons held in pre-trial detention, some of them
incommunicado, that all the grounds for authorizing pre-trial detention
are not exhaustively listed in the present laws, and about lack of judicial
control over the prolongation of detention.
The State party should ensure
that anyone arrested or detained on a criminal charge is brought promptly
before a judge (Covenant, article 9, paragraph 3), that all other aspects
of its law and practice are harmonized with the requirements of article
9 of the Covenant and that detained persons have access to counsel and
contact with their families. In the next report precise statistics should
be provided on the number of persons held in pre-trial detention and the
length of such detention.
10. The Committee is also
concerned about the detention of persons on mental health grounds and
the apparent lack of possibility of challenging such detention.
Persons detained on mental
health grounds should have prompt access to judicial review.
11. The Committee remains
concerned about inhuman prison conditions, characterized by overcrowding,
inadequate food and medical care, and at the fact that convicted persons
are frequently not kept segregated from accused persons and that juvenile
offenders are frequently detained in the same detention centres as adults
The State party must take
measures to improve prison conditions and to ensure that juveniles are
detained in segregated centres. It must ensure that all persons deprived
of their liberty are treated with humanity and respect for their inherent
dignity. Specifically, the State party must ensure that all detainees
are afforded adequate food and medical care.
12. The Committee is concerned
that the Law on Public Emergency in the Kyrgyz Republic does not specifically
restrict the power of derogation from specific Covenant provisions, as
stipulated in article 4 of the Covenant.
The State party should take
measures to bring its Law on Public Emergency into compliance with article
4 of the Covenant.
13. The Committee notes that,
although article 15 of the Constitution provides for the equality of men
and women, the condition of women has not ceased deteriorating in the
private and public sectors. The number of women in Parliament, in public
service and in management posts remains very low, a situation which constitutes
a serious contravention of the fundamental principle of equality and which
has a negative impact on the enjoyment of all other rights and on the
harmonious development of society. Moreover, the problems of poverty and
unemployment have contributed to high rates of maternal and infant mortality.
The Committee refers to articles
3 and 26 of the Covenant and to its General Comment No. 28 on gender equality,
and urges the State party to take all necessary measures to sensitize
the population, so as to improve the condition of women by eradicating
all traditional and stereotypical attitudes that deny women equality in
education, the workplace, public life and access to public service. In
particular, measures against discrimination should be enforced and positive
measures taken to further the education of women at all levels.
14. The Committee expresses
grave concern over the occurrence of violence against women and the increasing
phenomenon of trafficking in women, which is aggravated by the economic
hardship facing women in Kyrgyzstan (arts. 3, 7, 8).
The State party should ensure
that existing laws relating to violence against women and trafficking
are vigorously enforced; adopt effective measures to protect women; provide
victims of violence and abuse with a measure of compensation and rehabilitation;
and combat trafficking in all appropriate ways, including the prosecution
and punishment of those responsible. Specific legislation on the prohibition
and punishment of domestic violence and trafficking in women should be
15. The Committee is concerned
about the lack of full independence of the judiciary (Covenant, article
14.1). In particular, the Committee notes that the applicable attestation
procedure for judges, the requirement of re-evaluation every seven years,
the low level of salaries and the uncertain tenure of judges may encourage
corruption and bribery. The Committee is also concerned that trials may
be held in camera in circumstances not permitted under article 14.1.
16. The Committee notes with
approval the time limits ensuring expeditious commencement of criminal
trials, but is concerned at the court's power under the Code of Criminal
Procedure not to reach decision at the end of a trial, but rather to remit
the case to the prosecutor for further inquiries.
This procedure should be abolished.
17. The continued existence
of the propiska system violates the right to freedom of movement
and choice of residence under article 12 of the Covenant.
The State party should abolish
the system of authorizations (propiska) and give full effect to
the provisions of article 12 of the Covenant.
18. The Committee takes note
that conscientious objection to military service is allowed only to members
of a registered religious organization whose teachings prohibit the use
of arms. The Committee regrets that the State party has not sought to
justify why the provision on alternative service entails a period of service
twice as long as that required of military conscripts, and why persons
of higher education serve for a considerably lesser period in the military
and in alternative service (arts. 18 and 26).
Conscientious objection should
be provided for in law, in a manner that is consistent with articles 18
and 26 of the Covenant, bearing in mind that article 18 also protects
freedom of conscience of non-believers. The State party should fix the
periods of military service and alternative service on a non-discriminatory
19. The Committee is concerned
about the continued existence of child labour, the problem of mistreatment
of children in some educational institutions, cruel punishment and the
phenomenon of trafficking in children.
The State party must urgently
address these issues so as to ensure the special protection to which children
are entitled under article 24 of the Covenant. Specifically, corporal
punishment must be prohibited.
20. The Committee is concerned
about the intimidation and harassment, in particular by government officials,
of journalists and human rights activists, including members of human
rights non-governmental organizations, who have been subjected to prosecution,
fines and imprisonment. It is especially concerned about the use of libel
suits against journalists who criticize the Government. Such harassment
is incompatible with the freedom of expression and of the press stipulated
in article 19 of the Covenant.
The State party must protect
journalists and human rights activists from harassment. It should ensure
that journalists can perform their profession without fear of being subjected
to prosecution and libel suits for criticizing government policy or government
officials. Journalists and human rights activists subjected to imprisonment
in contravention of articles 9 and 19 of the Covenant should be released,
rehabilitated and given compensation pursuant to articles 9.5 and 14.6
of the Covenant.
21. The Committee expresses
its concern about the closing of newspapers on charges of tax evasion
and in order to secure the payment of fines. It is also concerned about
the functions of the National Communications Agency, which is attached
to the Ministry of Justice and has wholly discretionary power to grant
or deny licences to radio and television broadcasters. Delay in the granting
of licences and the denial of licences have a negative impact on the exercise
of freedom of expression and the press guaranteed under article 19 and
result in serious limitations in the exercise of political rights prescribed
in article 25, in particular with regard to fair elections.
The tasks and competences
of the National Communications Agency should be clearly defined by law,
and its decisions should be subject to appeal to judicial authority.
22. The Committee is concerned
about restrictions on the holding of public meetings and demonstrations,
which exceed those permitted under article 21 and about the lack
of appeal procedures in the case of denial of permission.
23. The Committee is concerned
about the conduct of the parliamentary elections in the Kyrgyz Republic
in March 2000 and in particular about the non-participation of political
parties which failed to register one year prior to the elections, or
the statutes of which did not explicitly declare an intention to stand
The State party should take
the necessary measures to ensure the enjoyment by all its citizens of
the rights provided for in article 25 of the Covenant, taking due account
of the Committee's General Comment No. 25 on article 25 of the Covenant.
D. Date of examination of second periodic report
Dissemination of information
24. The Committee requests
that the State party submit its second periodic report by 31 July 2004.
This report should be prepared in compliance with the Committee's new
guidelines (CCPR/C/66/GUI/Rev.1), provide gender disaggregated data and
up-to-date statistics on the condition of women, and give particular attention
to the recommendations made in these concluding observations. The Committee
urges the State party to make available to the public the text of the
State party's initial report together with the present concluding observations.
It further requests that the second periodic report be widely disseminated
among the public, including civil society and non-governmental organizations
operating in the Kyrgyz Republic.