Civil Liberties Worsening in Kyrgyzstan Says Civicus Monitor

This year, Kyrgyzstan became one of the seven countries whose annual ranking in terms of civil liberties worsened. This is according to the report, “People’s Power under Attack – 2023” published by global civil society alliance, Civicus Monitor.

The methodology applied by Civicus Monitor sees countries divided into five categories depending on the points scored: countries with open (free) civil space, narrowed (freedoms are partially limited), partially closed (oppressive civil liberties), suppressed and closed. Kyrgyzstan scored 40 out of 100 points, and was therefore classified as a State with a suppressed (repressed) civil space. Since 2018, the republic has been included in the category of countries with a partially closed civil space.

The reasons for this downgrade were the promotion of draft laws restricting the activities of NGOs and the media, increased pressure on independent media, criminal prosecution of civil society activists, journalists and other critics of the government, and long-term ban on peaceful assemblies in the central districts of Bishkek.

Neighbors in the region also received relatively low ratings, with Turkmenistan (8 points), Tajikistan (12 points) and Uzbekistan (18 points) classified as countries with a closed civil space, whilst Kazakhstan (27 points) was classified as a state with a suppressed civil space. According to the authors, almost a third of humanity now lives in countries with a closed civil space. This is the highest percentage (30.6%) living in the most restrictive environment since the first Civicus Monitor report in 2018.

Only 2.1% of people live in open states where civil space is both free and protected. This is half as much as six years ago, the report says.

Stephen M. Bland

Stephen M. Bland

 Stephen M. Bland is a journalist, author, editor, commentator and researcher specialising in Central Asia and the Caucasus. Prior to joining The Times of Central Asia, he has worked for NGOs, think tanks, as the Central Asia expert on a forthcoming documentary series, for the BBC, The Diplomat, EurasiaNet, and numerous other publications.
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Published in 2016, his book on Central Asia was the winner of the Golden Laureate of Eurasian Literature. He is currently putting the finishing touches to a book about the Caucasus.
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www.stephenmbland.com

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