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COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION CONSIDERS THE REPORT OF KYRGYZSTAN

25 April 2018

The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination today concluded its consideration of the combined eighth to tenth periodic report of Kyrgyzstan on its implementation of the provisions of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

Presenting the report, Bakhtiyar Saliev, Director of the State Agency for Local Self-Government and Inter-Ethnic Relations of Kyrgyzstan, noted that international treaties were an integral part of the country’s legal system, and that the status of the Convention was the same as before the 2016 constitutional reform.  The national judicial system granted equality before the law to all its citizens.  No one could be discriminated against on the basis of social origin, education, language, race, gender, ethnic background, religion, age or other status.  There was an absolute ban of direct or indirect discrimination on the basis of race or ethnicity, which constituted aggravating circumstances.  In 2013, the Government had adopted the Concept on Strengthening the National Unity and Inter-Ethnic Relations, which had led to a drop in the number of inter-ethnic incidents. The concept was a response to the 2010 inter-ethnic conflict in the south of the country, and it was built upon early detection and prevention of inter-ethnic conflicts. That role was performed by the National Consultative Inter-Ethnic Council, comprising 20 consultative inter-ethnic councils and 20 reception centres in 20 multi-ethnic regions of the country, as well as a monitoring centre with an interactive map to identify potential conflict sites.

In the ensuing discussion, Committee Experts noted that the State party still needed to address the root causes of the 2010 inter-ethnic clashes, ensure full access to justice, address socio-economic disparities, increase minority representation in political and public affairs, adopt comprehensive anti-discrimination laws, prevent and punish hate speech, and ensure an enabling environment for the work of human rights.  Experts also inquired about the expropriation of homes in the aftermath of the 2010 conflict, the case of imprisoned journalist and human rights defender Azimzhan Askarov, the situation of the Central Asian Roma (the Lyuli) and other smaller ethnic groups, education in minority languages, status and use of different languages, refugees and stateless persons, revocation of citizenship, inclusion on the list of persons belonging to extremist organizations, intersectional discrimination of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons, violence against ethnic minorities by the police, surrender of illegally possessed arms in the aftermath of the 2010 conflict, ethnic composition of the prison population, and reporting of inter-ethnic issues. 

In her concluding remarks, Gay McDougall, Committee Expert and Country Rapporteur for Kyrgyzstan, welcomed the Government’s readiness to work with United Nations agencies in drafting an anti-discrimination law.  Strong and cohesive societies were those in which various groups felt that they were part and parcel of the national identity, that they were visible and that they participated in decision-making, Ms. McDougall stressed. 

Mr. Saliev noted that the Government was satisfied with the fruitful cooperation with United Nations agencies, which allowed it to stabilize the situation in the country.  Mr. Saliev further emphasized that the Government aimed to maintain the multi-ethnic character of the country. 

Concluding the meeting, Noureddine Amir, Committee Chairperson, congratulated the State party on its efforts and encouraged it to take all the necessary measures to ensure follow-up to the Committee’s concluding observations. 

The delegation of Kyrgyzstan included representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Supreme Court, the General Prosecutor’s Office, the State Agency for Local Self-Government and Inter-Ethnic Relations, and the Permanent Mission of Kyrgyzstan to the United Nations Office at Geneva. 


The Committee will next meet in public today at 3 p.m. to consider the combined twenty-second and twenty-third periodic report of Peru (CERD/C/PER/22-23). 


Report

The Committee has before it the combined eighth to tenth periodic report of Kyrgyzstan: (CERD/C/KGZ/8-10).

Presentation of the Report

BAKHTIYAR SALIEV, Director of the State Agency for Local Self-Government and Inter-ethnic Relations of Kyrgyzstan, noted that international treaties were an integral part of the country’s legal system, and that the status of the Convention was the same as before the 2016 constitutional reform.  The national judicial system granted equality before the law to all its citizens.  No one could be discriminated against on the basis of social origin, education, language, race, gender, ethnic background, religion, age or other status.  In line with the constitutional provisions, violations of citizens’ rights were prosecuted.  There was an absolute ban of direct or indirect discrimination on the basis of race or ethnicity, which constituted aggravating circumstances.  All citizens, including foreigners and stateless persons, could access legal aid.  There were public reception centres for inter-ethnic questions in multi-ethnic parts of the country.  Any act of discrimination was prosecuted and the burden of proof was on the shoulders of the plaintiff.  In 2012, the Ombudsman had been internationally accredited under the B status, whereas in January 2017 Parliament had initiated a new law on the Office of the Ombudsman in order to elevate its status.  In 2017, about 13,000 people had addressed the Ombudsman, using a hotline.  No complaints regarding racial discrimination had been received.  In 2016, to improve cooperation with civil society, the Government had formed an expert council under the auspices of the President of Kyrgyzstan, Mr. Saliev explained. 

As for the case of journalist Azimzhan Askarov, the decision of the Jalal Abad district court of 2010 had been repealed and the case had been transferred to the Chuisky district court.  Mr. Askarov had been convicted under the Criminal Code and had received a life sentence and inability to occupy certain professions.  All the necessary procedural actions had taken place, in full compliance with Kyrgyz laws.  Turning to the judicial reforms, Mr. Saliev said that one of the most important steps in the reform was the introduction of seven new codes, which were fully in line with international law and the country’s international human rights obligations.  The process of selecting and choosing judges had been changed in order to remove any conflict of interest.  The Government fought hate speech and any discrimination against ethnic minorities using the mass media, whereas law enforcement agencies carried out targeted work to counter inter-ethnic hatred.  On the basis of monitoring of the mass media and the Internet, the authorities had managed to reduce discriminatory speech, such as, for example, hate speech against the Uzbeks.  In the past five years, the Government had been implementing training for media workers to that end.  In 2013, the Government had adopted the Concept on Strengthening the National Unity and Inter-Ethnic Relations, which had led to a drop in the number of inter-ethnic incidents.  The concept was a response to the 2010 inter-ethnic conflict in the south of the country, and it was built upon early detection and prevention of inter-ethnic conflicts.  That role was performed by the National Consultative Inter-Ethnic Council, comprising 20 consultative inter-ethnic councils and 20 reception centres in 20 multi-ethnic regions of the country, as well as a monitoring centre with an interactive map to identify potential conflict sites.  In 2014 the authorities had financed 47 projects through small grants in order to strengthen inter-ethnic relations. 

Late reporting by victims, loss of evidence and absence of witnesses had contributed to the lack of investigation of some crimes committed in June 2010.  The law enforcement authorities had issued warrants with Interpol to bring to justice some of the perpetrators.  In line with the Presidential decree of 2018, the Government aimed to develop all regions of the country, as well as to develop border territories with multi-ethnic communities.  In 2018, there were 918,262 Uzbeks in the country, whereas there were more than 4,000 Central Asian Roma – the Mugat or the Lyuli.  All ethnicities had their own cultural specificities, and the State worked to create conditions in which they could preserve their language and culture.  Kyrgyzstan was the only country in the region that had a mandatory representation of 15 per cent of ethnic minorities in the Parliament and local assemblies.  In 2016, the Government had adopted a programme of multilingualism and it aimed to develop a new generation of Kyrgyz persons who spoke the State language, a foreign language and ethnic languages.  Uzbek schools had not closed down; instead, they offered classes in Kyrgyz and Russian, which gave an impression that they were being closed down.  Kyrgyzstan facilitated voluntary repatriation of refugees to their countries of origin, and also provided them with assistance in receiving Kyrgyz citizenship.  Reducing and preventing statelessness was one of the most important efforts in that respect.  In many areas, refugees were treated on an equal footing with Kyrgyz nationals, Mr. Saliev noted.

Questions from the Country Rapporteur

GAY MCDOUGALL, Committee Expert and Country Rapporteur for Kyrgyzstan, reminded that in its previous concluding observations, the Committee had expressed concern about the ethnic clashes in 2010 in the regions of Osh and Jalalabad, and it had urged the State party to address the root causes of those clashes, pursue democratic reforms and ensure full access to justice, address socio-economic disparities, increase minority representation in political and public affairs, adopt comprehensive anti-discrimination laws, prevent and punish hate speech, and ensure an enabling environment for the work of human rights.  While noting that the State party had taken some measures, they had been largely ineffective, Ms. McDougall noted. 

With respect to access to justice and the fight against impunity, Ms. McDougall said that there were credible reports that the State party had taken no steps to review torture-tainted convictions handed down in the aftermath of the 2010 violence, and that it had failed to make a genuine effort to effectively investigate the committed crimes.  The fact that no one had come forward with a request for compensation could mean that the police so terrorized the Uzbek community that they were too afraid to come forward, Ms. McDougall stressed. 

Turning to socio-economic disparities, the Committee had received reports that forced evictions remained an important issue, particularly in Osh, where Uzbeks were concentrated, and that there was a lack of clear and transparent legislation and procedures on house demolitions and evictions.  Uzbeks still faced discrimination in access to employment, and had been summarily dismissed from their positions in the central and local Governments. 

The Lyuli/Mugat (Central Asian Roma) were often targeted and discriminated against by members of larger ethnic groups and had an extremely low standard of living, and a very low school attendance rate.  They could not access social services due to the lack of documentation, such as birth certificates. 

With respect to political representation, Ms. McDougall inquired about the continued underrepresentation of ethnic minorities in executive and legislative branches of the Government, including civil services, prosecution, law enforcement and police forces.  What had been the outcome of the 2011 legislation which mandated that the political parties’ lists of candidates had to contain a minimum of 15 per cent of ethnic minority candidates?   Why was there such a low representation of ethnic minorities in public institutions in Osh, an area with a large Uzbek population? 

Ms. McDougall further underlined the failure of the State party to adopt legislation regulating hate speech that incorporated the letter and spirit of article 4 of the Convention, and noted that the Ombudsman had not played a role in protecting citizens from discrimination.

Turning to the harassment of human rights defenders, particularly of those who defended the rights of ethnic minorities, Ms. McDougall noted that the case of journalist and human rights defender Azimzhan Askarov was a stain on the reputation of the Government.  She called on the State party to set him free and to return his home.

As for racist hate speech, Ms. McDougall stated that high-ranking officials had failed to denounce it or end it.  There were reports of journalists fleeing the country because of the threats against them.

Questions from the Committee Experts

GUN KUT, Committee Rapporteur for Follow-up to Concluding Observations, informed that the Committee had adopted its previous concluding observations in February 2013, and he commended the State party for having submitted the follow-up report on time.  Nevertheless, many issues had been left out and the Committee had to raise them again in the current dialogue. 

An Expert inquired about the situation of the Lyuli/Mugat.  According to some sources, only half of their children had an opportunity to attend schools.  Why was it that the Government did not pay attention to that group? 

What was the situation of other smaller communities, such as the Koreans, Meskhetian Turks, the Chechens, and the Dungans?  Did they have an opportunity to study in their native language?  What were Kyrgyzstan’s definitions of nationalities and ethnic groups?

What was the interpretation of the State party of the recommendations made by the Human Rights Committee regarding the case of imprisoned journalist and human rights defender Azimzhan Askarov?

What was the interpretation of the root causes of the inter-ethnic violence of 2010?  Was the Government’s focus on the rebuilding of national unity the right way to respond?  How many sessions had the Assembly of Peoples held and how much was it contributing to inter-cultural dialogue in the country?  How many cases had there been of attributing personal responsibility to officials for their failure to foster inter-ethnic cohesion? 

Turning to violence against women, Experts inquired whether it was a repercussion of the inter-ethnic clashes of 2010.   How many officials had received training and capacity-building?  What was the participation of ethnic minorities in senior management positions?  What was the proportion of ethnic minorities in prisons?   In what way were new technologies used to combat hate speech?

As for education, Experts noted that pursuing integration often led to accusations of discrimination of minority rights.  The Committee had previously expressed concern about the lack of teachers and textbooks in minority languages, and the Government’s decision to introduce high school tests in the Kyrgyz language only.  Could it be that the lack of education in the mother tongue led to school dropout and increase in poverty among some minorities?  Where did minorities work and what types of jobs did they perform? 

Experts also inquired about the human rights education and training for law enforcement forces, especially in the aftermath of the June 2010 inter-ethnic conflict.  How was the impact of that type of education measured?  How did the Government ensure that more secular education was provided for girls? 

On refugees and stateless persons, Experts welcomed legislative changes that allowed for the naturalization of refugees and the reduction of the number of stateless persons.  Did the Government plan to accede to the 1951 United Nations Convention on Refugees and its 1967 Protocol?  Would the new Law on Citizenship guarantee due process?  What kind of information did Kyrgyz passports omit? 

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons from Uzbek and other minority communities were victims of crimes of violence, harassment and discrimination.  Could the State party provide more information about that issue? 

Had the Government investigated any cases of violence against ethnic minorities by the police?  How did the Government plan to improve the representation of ethnic minorities in law enforcement forces?  What concrete measures had been taken to fight trafficking in persons?

How did the National Security Committee measure the success rate of surrender of weapons in illegal possession?  Did persons on the run belong to a specific ethnicity?  Experts observed that since perpetrators of the 2010 crimes could not have been identified in more than 3,000 cases, the number of identified perpetrators was very low.

Who appointed and removed judges?  Referring to the case of journalist and human rights defender Azimzhan Askarov, Experts inquired about the use of confessions extracted under torture.  Was there an appeal procedure?
   
What was the difference in the status of languages?  What was the difference between a national and an official language?  What was the status of languages in education, administration and the judiciary?

Responses by the Delegation

BAKHTIYAR SALIEV, Director of the State Agency for Local Self-Government and Interethnic Relations of Kyrgyzstan, explained that ethnic minorities represented about 30 per cent of the overall population in Kyrgyzstan.  Their low representation at the national and local level was the result of their limited economic resources, and failure to meet the testing requirements.  But there was a rise in their representation, such as greater interest by the Uzbek community to participate in the military forces.  The national authorities had already started to take certain steps to increase their representation in the national public service.

Mr. Saliev explained that the inter-ethnic conflict of 2010 was due to economic factors, lack of an effective State policy in managing inter-ethnic relations, rivalry among various criminal groups in the Osh region, separatist demands, and cultural differences between ethnic groups.

The Uzbeks suffered most from the expropriation of homes, but compensation was provided to them.  The demolition of homes in the Osh region had been carried out in strict compliance with national laws and compensation was provided to the owners of the properties.  In the city of Jalalabad, the demolition of homes had taken place to allow for the widening of roads, and an agreement had been reached with home owners, Mr. Saliev said. 

As for the presentation of the 2010 events in history books, Mr. Saliev noted that they were represented as a tragedy.  The conflict had ended in four days thanks to the resilience and will of the people.  Turning to the discrimination of the Lyuli, Mr. Saliev noted that the authorities had set aside land for them.  They received education in Kyrgyz, Russian and English, and there was an increasing number of the Lyuli working in the administration.  The authorities were making an effort to increase birth registration of Lyuli children in some regions of the country, and had set up a social fund to help children access education.

With respect to the situation of smaller ethnic minorities, the State provided support for the development of all ethnic cultures in the country through the provision of small funds, for example for Tajik and Dungan communities.  The Assembly of Peoples was an advisory body created in 1994 to ensure national unity, shape civic identity, and prevent inter-ethnic conflicts.  It comprised 35 associations and in 2016-2017, the Assembly of Peoples had held 19 sessions.

Mr. Saliev said that since the independence of Kyrgyzstan, access to education in mother tongue had never been limited.  However, before the 2010 inter-ethnic conflict, there was a certain segregation in language teaching in schools.  Ethnic minorities should encourage their children to learn the State language, namely the Kyrgyz language.  In the past, many Uzbeks from the south studied at universities in Uzbekistan. 

As for the definition of nationality and ethnicity, there was no section in the passport denoting nationality.  Kyrgyzstan used the concept of citizenship, whereas ethnic identity was an individual choice.  The Kyrgyz and Russian languages were used for inter-ethnic communication; the State language was Kyrgyz, whereas Russian was the official language.  The Constitution guaranteed citizens the right to preserve their own mother tongues, Mr. Saliev explained. 

The delegation stated that Kyrgyzstan did not have a separate anti-discrimination law.  But international conventions had full legal force in the country, and international standards had precedence over other standards.  The State guaranteed the rights and freedoms of citizens regardless of their race, ethnicity, religion, opinion or other social status.  The Government was carrying out a legal reform to bring national laws in line with international obligations and standards.  There was an absolute ban of discrimination on the basis of ethnicity and race.  Kyrgyzstan was ready to adopt a comprehensive anti-discrimination law, but it currently did not have relevant experts. 

The authorities had introduced a section on apartheid in the Constitution to better protect the rights of minorities.  Corruption in the judiciary was one of the main reasons behind the 2010 inter-ethnic conflict.  One of the areas of the judiciary reform was the renewal of judge personnel.  The council for the selection of judges elected them for a period of five years, after which they could serve for life.

There was a mechanism for the review of the criminal cases from 2010, provided that there were witnesses.  The complainants could refer to the views of the Human Rights Committee.  Responding to the Experts’ question about the dismissal of ethnic Uzbeks in the aftermath of the 2010 conflict, the delegation explained that it could not provide concrete information on this.

As for the case of journalist and human rights defender Azimzhan Askarov, the delegation noted that the Government recognized and implemented decisions of international human rights bodies, including of the Human Rights Committee.   The court had reviewed Mr. Askarov’s case and had sent it for review to the Chuisky regional court.  The defendant had the right to use all legal means to present his defense.  The Chuisky regional court had ruled and the Supreme Court could not contest that decision until the defendant had exhausted all legal remedies.  As for the confiscation of the property of the Askarov family as mandated by the court, it had been established that the family house was the only residence of the Askarov family, which was why it had not been confiscated.

The National Security Committee was mandated to review the events of the 2010 conflicts.  All law enforcement agencies, including the National Security Committee, were tasked to confiscate all fire arms in illegal possession, and to investigate their illegal use.  Some 66 investigations had been launched to that end.  There were 105 persons at large following the events of 2010 and the authorities had no information about their ethnicity.  Out of the 448 citizens sentenced for their involvement in the 2010 events, 335 were Uzbek and 113 Kyrgyz.

Since the current global terrorist threats mandated certain security measures, the Government had mandated mechanisms for the revocation of citizenship.

On the protection of human rights defenders, the State created safe conditions for all of them, regardless of what kind of work they carried out.  In case of harassment, human rights defenders could submit complaints to the relevant authorities.  The Ministry of the Interior had not recorded any cases of their harassment. 

Members of law enforcement agencies had received training on the prevention of torture and human rights.  In order to disseminate the Convention to the general public, the Government had published various brochures.  Currently, some 61 per cent of the prison population was Kyrgyz, 17.5 per cent Russian, 11 per cent Uyghur, 1.7 per cent Dungan, 0.9 per cent Kazakh, and 0.5 per cent Tajik.

As for the situation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons, they enjoyed all their rights as other citizens, and their gender changes were duly recorded.  The authorities responded to any case of hate speech.  The Ombudsman issued warnings against hate speech, whereas citizens could also address their concerns in the so-called social drop-in centres across the country.

Follow-up Questions by Experts

GAY MCDOUGALL, Committee Expert and Country Rapporteur for Kyrgyzstan, said that the Committee had not learned very much from the delegation’s responses, noting that they had not been very candid.  Ms. McDougall asked the delegation to speak candidly about the State party’s challenges in dealing with the issues of ethnic minorities.  She stressed that there was a legitimate feeling among the people of the Osh and Jalalabad regions, who were blamed for the 2010 uprising, that they were being punished for the second time with the demolition of their homes.

Ms. McDougall also referred to reports of police intimidation and blackmail of those people.  The Government had a responsibility to stop those occurrences, she stressed.  The Government had to face the lack of confidence and trust in State institutions, Ms. McDougall noted.  How did the authorities determine a formula for the compensation of demolished homes?

Ms. McDougall expressed satisfaction with the delegation’s statement that the Government would welcome outside technical assistance in drafting an anti-discrimination law.

What percentage of parliamentary representatives and civil servants belonged to ethnic minorities?  What level of posts were held by members of ethnic minorities in civil service?

Responses by the Delegation

BAKHTIYAR SALIEV, Director of the State Agency for Local Self-Government and Inter-Ethnic Relations of Kyrgyzstan, stated that despite difficulties in building national unity and fostering good inter-ethnic relations, due to the decisive steps taken by the Government after the tragic events of 2010 and to the wisdom of the people of Kyrgyzstan, a lot had been achieved through the Concept on Strengthening the National Unity and Inter-Ethnic Relations.  The Government aimed at moving away from a national form of patriotism to a citizenship based patriotism.

During the 27 years of Kyrgyzstan’s independence, no special attention had been paid to the State language, whereas Russian had served as an unofficial State language.  It was necessary for citizens to understand the documents issued by the State, which was why the Government continued focusing on training people who would understand the State language, Mr. Saliev.

Turning to the demolition of houses, Mr. Saliev explained that there was a problem with roads and illegally built houses in the Jalalabad region.  The authorities would try to resolve the outstanding issues in that respect.

The fact that the Ombudsman had not received any complaints about inter-ethnic conflicts was a positive sign, Mr. Saliev noted.  People could directly contact consultative and reception centres in the multi-ethnic regions of the country.

DANIIAR MUKASHEV, Permanent Representative of Kyrgyzstan to the United Nations at Geneva, emphasized that historical evaluation of the 2010 inter-ethnic conflict should not take any sides.  Any State comprised of multiple ethnicities faced challenges in terms of integration efforts.  The Kyrgyz Government called for reconciliation and fostered integration.  Those processes needed time to show results, and the Government was taking concrete actions.

Second Round of Questions by Experts

An Expert inquired about the surrender of arms by citizens.  Was there a moratorium on the surrender of arms and was it applicable to all persons living in Kyrgyzstan? 

How did Kyrgyzstan plan to implement the International Decade for People of African Descent?  Did the State Agency for Local Self-Government and Inter-Ethnic Relations have enough resources?

Referring to the reduction of the number of stateless persons between 2014 and 2017, an Expert asked about how the State party would deal with some 800 cases that were pending.  Had there been any cases of revocation of citizenship?

Experts also raised the issue of intersectional discrimination of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons, and of members of ethnic minorities, especially in the south of the country.

What was the representation of ethnic minorities in security and law enforcement forces?  Had there been any investigation of cases of torture by the police?  What advances had been made in the development a national action plan on trafficking in persons?  What was the criteria for being included on the list of persons belonging to extremist organizations?

Experts wondered whether the mechanisms for building an inclusive national identity and managing diversity in the country were strong enough.  There was no information about what kind of cases were resolved by the inter-ethnic consultative and reception centres in the multi-ethnic regions of the country.

Could the Prime Minister grant pardon in a case such as that of Azimzhan Askarov?  Had the State party carried out any regular surveys about racial discrimination and diversity?   

Responses by the Delegation

The delegation explained that the operation entitled Arsenal, aimed at collecting the illegally held arms lost during the 2010 conflict, was ongoing.  Relevant authorities collected the necessary information about the existence of extremist organizations, but it was the courts that determined who belonged to them. 

According to the 2016 constitutional reform, international treaties were an integral part of national legislation, and international human rights standards had priority.  The deportation of foreign nationals could be only decided by a court.  Anyone could address the courts regardless of their ethnicity to contest court decisions, including belonging to an extremist organization.  Only the President could grant pardon to an individual. 

In terms of efforts to prevent trafficking in persons, in 2017 the Government had decided on a set of actions, whereas the State Migration Service dealt with it.

BAKHTIYAR SALIEV, Director of the State Agency for Local Self-Government and Inter-Ethnic Relations of Kyrgyzstan, explained that the State Agency focused on the development of organizations of self-rule.  Kyrgyzstan was the first in the region to adopt a law on self-rule.  In addition to 20 consultative inter-ethnic councils and 20 reception centres in the multi-ethnic regions of the country, with the support of the United Nations Development Programme, the Government would soon open three new offices.  The authorities worked very closely with the Assembly of Peoples in that respect.  The general stability in the country had improved thanks to the cooperation with United Nations agencies, Mr. Saliev noted.

The delegation stressed that the Government could not arbitrarily confiscate property.  Answering an Expert’s question about intersectional discrimination of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons, and members of ethnic minorities, the delegation could not provide any specific examples.  It noted that there was fairly liberal legislation, and that there was no deliberate targeting of that population.  Not everything happening in the south of the country should be construed as linked with ethnicity. 

Concluding Remarks

GAY MCDOUGALL, Committee Expert and Country Rapporteur for Kyrgyzstan, thanked the delegation for its interactive participation in the dialogue, and welcomed the Government’s readiness to work with United Nations agencies in drafting an anti-discrimination law.  Strong and cohesive societies were those in which various groups felt that they were part and parcel of the national identity, that they were visible and that they participated in decision-making, Ms. McDougall stressed.  She further highlighted the importance of receiving input from non-governmental organizations.  The Committee would be very unhappy to hear that any of them were harassed or that they ended up on the list of extremist organizations.  

BAKHTIYAR SALIEV, Director of the State Agency for Local Self-Government and Inter-Ethnic Relations of Kyrgyzstan, noted that the Government was satisfied with the fruitful cooperation with United Nations agencies, which allowed it to stabilize the situation in the country.  Mr. Saliev further emphasized that the Government aimed to maintain the multi-ethnic character of the country. 

NOUREDDINE AMIR, Committee Chairperson, congratulated the State party on its efforts and encouraged it to take all the necessary measures to ensure follow-up to the Committee’s concluding observations.  He reminded that the Committee would make several recommendations for immediate follow-up.


For use of the information media; not an official record 

CERD18.003E