NGOs in Kyrgyzstan Have Two Months to Register as “Foreign Agents”

Image: BBC

Kyrgyzstan’s Ministry of Justice has approved the creation of a register for “non-governmental organizations performing the functions of a foreign representative”, which gives authorities the right to inspect their activities.

All non-profit agencies that receive foreign funding have been given two months from 16 May to submit documents to the ministry.

Kyrgyz president Sadyr Zhaparov signed the law “on Foreign Representatives” on April 2, despite over 100 organizations and civil society figures appealing for him not to do so. Zhaparov made assurances at the time that non-governmental organizations would not be persecuted.

Local NGOs funded from abroad that are engaged in political activities in Kyrgyzstan are now recognized as “performing the functions of a foreign representative”, and are placed in a separate register. Organizations included in this register — so-called ‘foreign agents’ — may be subjected to various unscheduled inspections.

Several international organizations, as well as the United States and certain countries in the European Union, have voiced criticisms of the new law. After it came into force, the Soros-Kyrgyzstan Foundation announced that it would be terminating its activities in Kyrgyzstan.


Times of Central Asia

Askar Alimzhanov graduated from the journalism department of the Kazakh State University named after S. Kirov, then worked as a correspondent for the daily republican newspaper Leninskaya Smen. He then moved to the United States to be a reporter for the daily newspaper "Cape Cod Times" in Hayanis, Massachusetts, (USA) under the journalist exchange program between the Union of Journalists of the USSR and the New England Society of News Editors. Since then, he has helped build transparency and understanding of Central Asia region in various executive level positions at esteemed media organizations including "Akbar"(Alma-Ata) international center for journalism, the Khabar News agency, the Television and Radio Corporation "Kazakhstan" JSC, and MIR- Kazakhstan.

View more articles fromTimes of Central Asia