• KGS/USD = 0.01126 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09196 0.77%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01126 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09196 0.77%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01126 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09196 0.77%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01126 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09196 0.77%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01126 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09196 0.77%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01126 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09196 0.77%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01126 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09196 0.77%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01126 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09196 0.77%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

Viewing results 1 - 6 of 200

Kazakhstan Sums Up Democratic Reforms, Human Rights Efforts

Kazakhstan has undergone “large-scale democratic transformations and made significant progress towards protecting human rights in full compliance with its international commitments,” states a factsheet published on the website of the President on January 12th. “Significant changes have been made to the legislation on democratic participation, human rights protection, and the rule of law. This has ensured greater participation of the population in the decision-making process as the concept of the ‘Listening State’ continues to evolve, and contributed to a more balanced political system and greater accountability to ensure the irreversibility of the ongoing political transformation towards a ‘Just and Fair Kazakhstan,’” the document says. Among the reforms enacted are the limit of a single seven-year term for presidents, the abolition of presidential power over local office-holders, the reduction of presidential authority over the Senate, and the reduction of the threshold for political parties to be registered from 20,000 to 5,000 members. “Such liberalization has resulted in the registration of new political parties - Baytaq and Respublica,” the document states, with the latter winning seats in the parliamentary election of March 2023. The reforms have also seen the powers of the Majilis (lower house of parliament) significantly expanded, whilst the election of mayors of districts and cities were held for the first time. The factsheet states that these “reforms have strengthened the system of human rights protection. Legislative amendments have been adopted to strengthen the independence of the courts [and] the categories of cases for jury trials have been expanded.” The factsheet goes on to say that the Constitutional Court has been reinstated with an enhanced mandate, aiming to fortify the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms by providing citizens with the direct right of appeal. The death penalty has also been abolished and criminal accountability for acts of torture reinforced. “Administrative and criminal liability for domestic violence has been significantly strengthened,” and a new law governing peaceful assemblies has been introduced, expanding the scope of peaceful gatherings and rallies in Kazakhstan. Human Rights Watch, in their World Report 2024, has raised concerns over the lack of accountability for human rights violations in Kazakhstan. The organization voiced their reservations about points in the new legislation that, while designed to protect women, does not specifically criminalize domestic violence as a separate offense. They have been consistently urging the Kazakhstan government to ensure justice and take necessary steps to prevent future violations.

Islamic Extremism in Central Asia: A Threat to Liberal Progress

Afghanistan earned its reputation as the “graveyard of empires” due to the significant toll exacted on foreign powers in their efforts to achieve military success in the country. This challenge was evident in the experiences of the British Empire, the Soviet Union, and, most recently, the United States. The persistent and decentralized nature of the country's tribal insurgency made achieving a definitive victory a formidable task. Furthermore, the adherence of groups harbored by the Taliban, such as Al Qaeda, to an extremist religious ideology spread terrorism globally, including in the 9/11 attacks as well as other deadly acts of violence in various parts of the world. While the United States arguably played a constructive role in modernizing Afghanistan, the establishment of democracy and Western values in the country proved to be an insurmountable challenge, even with over $100 billion in foreign aid. With heightened tensions between the Islamic and Western populations reignited in the Levant after the deadly Hamas attack on Israel on 7 October 2023, the threat of Afghanistan-based extremists redirecting their focus towards the West has intensified. Often overlooked is the fact that Salafists jihadists and other radical groups also pose a challenge to the emerging democracies in Central Asia as these Muslim-majority secular republics are seen as areas to spread their undemocratic and potentially violent influence. In this context, policies that may even inadvertently help promote illiberal religious movements threaten the region’s secular identity and the security of its peoples.  We should assess Central Asia’s unique position on religious freedoms but also on jihadist threats For the large part, Western countries come from a privileged position of being able to resist the widespread influence from Islamic extremist movements at home thanks mainly to generations of democratic institution building as well as decent geographic distance to areas that would fall under pan-jihadist aspirations. Consider that there is no apparent threat of jihadists entirely displacing Western democratic institutions or imposing a pan-Islamist state encompassing parts of Western nations; most Western lands do not fall on areas some of these groups want to conquer to create an Islamic Caliphate. On the other hand, many other places, including Central Asia, still risk misconstruing the line between defending individual freedoms and combatting religious extremism. Here, the coexistence of extremist Islamic ideologies and democracy remains somewhat precarious. Islamic radicalism continues to pose a serious challenge to the emerging democracies of the region, where the secular republics are trying to keep a lid on certain hostile ideologies. Militant groups spilling over from Afghanistan and infiltrating post-Soviet countries want to spread jihad to the region and create an Islamic Khaganate stretching from Egypt to China. Pan-Islamist Salafists, such as Islamic State-Khorasan Province (ISKP) and Al Qaeda, have a clear goal to overthrow Central Asia’s secular regimes. Moreover, the determination of Salafists jihadists and other groups to spread their illiberal and violent struggle to Central Asia (including from neighboring Afghanistan) has become apparent through their growing presence in the region’s schools and other spheres of public...

EU Calls on Turkmenistan to Protect Rights

The EU has called on Turkmenistan to protect women's rights, remove restrictions on the Internet and give the Red Cross access to prisons during the fifteenth round of the annual human rights dialogue between the European Union and Turkmenistan in Brussels. EU representatives took note of the recommendations of human rights defenders and raised a number of pressing issues during the meeting, calling on the Turkmen government to take effective measures to improve the situation. Before the meeting the human rights organizations, International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR) and the Turkmen Initiative for Human Rights (TIPHR) handed over to EU representatives a report on the human rights situation in Turkmenistan with a number of recommendations, and called on the EU to use the dialogue to insist on concrete steps to address problems in Turkmenistan. In particular, Turkmenistan was recommended to take rapid and decisive steps to combat sexual and gender-based violence, including by criminalizing domestic violence, discrimination against women and girls, as well as representatives of religious minorities, persons with disabilities and LGBT representatives, and to decriminalize consensual homosexual relations. The members of the EU delegation expressed serious concerns about enforced disappearances and conditions in places of detention, including the torture and ill-treatment of prisoners. Turkmenistan should provide representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) with unhindered access to prisons, the EU stated. The sides also discussed the issue of the eradication of forced labor in the cotton industry. Noting the goal of the Government of Turkmenistan to digitalize the country, the EU stressed the importance of freedom of opinion and expression, and the right to information and independent media. The EU stressed the need to ensure Internet access for all citizens, and to remove blocking from websites and social networks. During the dialogue, EU representatives also raised a number of individual cases of human rights violations and provided a list of cases of concern. The meeting discussed, among other things, the macroeconomic situation of Turkmenistan and its intention to join the WTO, as well as the issues of gas export strategy and reduction of methane emissions.

Head of Constitutional Court Addresses Tokayev’s Reforms

The head of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Kazakhstan has spoken about the implementation of three packages of President Tokayev’s reforms. A delegation from Kazakhstan took part in UN events dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration on the Protection of Human Rights in Geneva, where they addressed Kazakhstan's experience in carrying out political and human rights reforms. The head of the delegation, Chairman of the Constitutional Court, Elvira Asimova spoke about Kazakhstan's priorities in the human rights sphere, naming these as the protection of children and women, the implementation of the concept of a "listening state," digitization, and increasing the active role of civil society in the field of human rights protection. At a special event hosted by human rights NGOs, Asimova reported on the implementation of three packages of President Tokayev’s reforms and on his Decree "On the Action Plan in the field of human rights and the rule of law." “Today's global challenges require the development of global solutions and the ability to respond correctly to current events. In this regard, it should be noted that almost all the delegations with whom we met on the sidelines of the event highly appreciate the reforms being carried out in Kazakhstan. And they welcome the adoption by the head of state on December 8th of the Action Plan in the field of human rights," Asimova said. The document consists of nine sections containing 41 points, from strengthening gender equality and combating domestic violence, to protecting citizens in the field of criminal justice. For the first time in Kazakhstan, the experience of a human rights organization was included in this list. Zhemis Turmagambetova, Executive Director of the Charter for Human Rights Foundation stated that “This year, I conducted the first part of the project to create a ‘Dialogue Police.’ In times of peaceful gatherings and marches and informal associations of citizens on various issues, the police will conduct a dialogue. It is necessary to involve representatives of government agencies there. This is a great support for the actions of the non-governmental sector and civil society. Because everything at a legislative level and at a practical level should be applied by all legislators and all government agencies.” On the sidelines of the forum, the Commissioner for Human Rights of Kazakhstan, Artur Lastaev, together with the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions and UNDP, held a discussion on the contribution of national human rights institutions to the implementation of UN Sustainable Development Goals. “Over the past few years, very serious steps have been taken to strengthen both the institution of the Commissioner for Human Rights and, in general, regarding the implementation of international standards into national legislation,” Lastaev said. “A lot of people say that these are the reforms of President Tokayev. These reforms have already acquired a household name. In this regard, we really have something to be proud of. There are concrete results. If we take the fight against torture, 42 people...

Uzbek Blogger Jailed for 7 1/2 Years

The Tashkent regional court has dismissed an appeal by blogger Lemara Mirzaahmedova on December 13, upholding her 7 1/2-year prison term issued in October, as reported by RFE/RL's Uzbek Service. Her conviction, based on defamation, slander, and extortion charges linked to critical social-media posts about the government, faced staunch opposition from supporters who view it as retribution by authorities. Mirzaahmedova, detained in March, is seen by human rights watchdogs as part of a concerning trend in Tashkent, marked by an uptick in criminal cases targeting independent bloggers.

Turkmenistan Participates in 75th Anniversary of Adoption of Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Geneva

The commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights witnessed the active involvement of Turkmenistan's justice representatives in significant high-level events held in Geneva, Switzerland, on December 11-12. Adalatchy Yazdursun Gurbannazarova, the designated human rights representative in Turkmenistan, participated in the "Human Rights 75" events, a series organized by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The Turkmen delegation also engaged in a parallel event hosted by the non-governmental organization, BDG, and the non-commercial organization, INHR, alongside national human rights institutions of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The momentous occasion, dedicated to honoring the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, convened eminent figures from international organizations, delegation leaders, and national human rights entities. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, extended congratulations during the conference's inauguration, acknowledging the milestone of the declaration's adoption. Participating in these crucial discussions, Turkmenistan’s representatives conveyed the nation's accomplishments and contributions to the advancement of human rights and the rule of law. Turkmenistan's commitments within the framework of "Human Rights 75" initiatives and its support for implementing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were highlighted. Key pledges encompassed enhancing international cooperation, fortifying youth policies, implementing environmental approaches to safeguard human rights, and addressing statelessness within Turkmenistan.

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