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December 09, 2020 REPORT

Violence against Women in Kyrgyzstan: Barriers to Accessing Justice, Fair Trial Rights, and the Right of Peaceful Assembly

The Center finds that the actions taken by the state authorities with respect to the 2020 Women’s Day March—including the arrest and illegal detention of the march participants—were unwarranted and violated the participants’ rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of association under the ICCPR and the Kyrgyz Constitution.


This report was prepared to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, 16 Days of Activism, and International Human Rights Day as well as to call attention to the ongoing struggle of many women in Kyrgyzstan who suffer from gender-based violence and discrimination while perpetrators enjoy impunity. Gender inequality and discrimination serve as a root cause of gender-based violence in Kyrgyzstan, a pervasive and persistent concern among human rights activists, including Bishkek Feminists Initiatives (BFI). Kyrgyzstan is a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW Committee) also has expressed its concerns on these issues in its Concluding Observations on Kyrgyzstan, in which it has emphasized a number of serious shortcomings in the government's efforts to end violence against women and girls and protect their rights.

This report uses three specific cases to illustrate widespread problems in Kyrgyzstan with regard to women's inability to access justice for gender-based violence, violations of women's fair trial rights that result from gender stereotypes and biases in the court system, and the role that the justice system plays in violating women's rights to freedom of association and peaceful assembly.