The Second Periodic Report of Kyrgyzstan was reviewed by the UN Human Rights Committee on the 10th and 11th of March 2014. The Deputy Minister of Justice headed the Kyrgyz delegation. The BIM project team participated in the public meetings of the presentations of both State and alternative reports. The Committee in its concluding observations issued several recommendations addressing torture and ill-treatment in Kyrgyzstan (cf. link):
- Torture and Ill-treatment
15. While welcoming legislative and administrative measures aimed at the prevention and eradication of torture, including amendments to the Criminal Code, the Committee remains concerned about: the ongoing and widespread practice of torture and ill-treatment of persons deprived of their liberty for the purpose of extracting confessions, particularly in police custody; the number of deaths in custody and the fact that none of the cases reported to the Committee led to any conviction; the State party’s failure to conduct prompt, impartial and full investigation of deaths in custody; and the lack of prosecution and punishment of perpetrators of torture and ill-treatment and compensation of victims. The Committee also remains concerned about allegations of torture and miscarriages of justice in the case of Azimjan Askharov (art. 6, 7, 10).
The State party should urgently strengthen its efforts to take measures to prevent acts of torture and ill-treatment and ensure prompt and impartial investigations of complaints of torture or ill-treatment, including the case of Azimjan Askarov, initiate criminal proceedings against perpetrators, impose appropriate sentences on those convicted, and provide compensation for victims. The State party should take measures to ensure that no evidence obtained through torture is allowed to be used in court. The State party should also expedite operationalization of the National Centre for the Prevention of Torture through providing necessary resources to enable fulfilment of its mandate independently and effectively.
- Liberty and security of person
16. The Committee is concerned about the lack of implementation of basic safeguards to all persons deprived of their liberty, including failure to register all detainees immediately upon apprehension, the lack of access to a lawyer of their choice, the lack of a medical examination immediately after their apprehension and the lack of access to medical assistance (art. 9, 14).
The State party should ensure registration of all detainees immediately following their apprehension in the central register, their medical examination, and access to a lawyer of their choice and to medical assistance.
- Conditions of detention
17. The Committee is concerned about extremely harsh conditions in places of deprivation of liberty, including overcrowding, lack of hygiene and insufficient food and drinking water (art. 10).
The State party should strengthen its efforts to improve conditions of detention to bring them into accordance with the provisions of article 10 of the Covenant.
- Independence of the judiciary
18. While welcoming efforts aiming at the strengthening of the judiciary, the Committee is concerned about the lack of full independence of the judiciary, including in the process of the selection and dismissal of judges, potential influence of the executive power on the Council for the Selection of Judges and reports of corruption in the judiciary (art. 14).
The State party should pursue judicial reforms to ensure a fully independent and impartial judiciary, including establishment of objective and transparent criteria for the selection and dismissal of judges, in accordance with international standards, notably the Basic Principles on Independence of the Judiciary (1985).
The review process can be viewed here.
Additionally, the alternative reports of various NGOs submitted to the UN Human Rights Committee may be viewed by accessing the following links:
1. Alternative Report of the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT)
2. Recommendations and Concerns of the Human Rights Watch (HRW)
3. Alternative Report of the Physicians for Human Rights
4. Alternative Report of the LGBT organisations
5. Alternative Report of the Kylym Shamy Public Foundation