The European Union and the Kyrgyz Republic held the sixth round of their Human Rights Dialogue in Brussels today. The Kyrgyz Republic delegation was led by Askar Beshimov, Deputy Foreign Minister, and the EU delegation was led by Elisabeth Tison, Head of the Human Rights Strategy and Policy Implementation Division in the European External Action Service. The dialogue allowed for an open exchange of views on the human rights situation in the Kyrgyz Republic and on cooperation between the EU and the Kyrgyz Republic in the field of democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
Constructive discussions were held on a range of issues, including detention conditions, elections, women's rights, the rights of members of minority communities and freedom of association. The EU welcomed some significant steps taken by the government since the last human rights dialogue in April 2014, including the adoption of the Action Plan to combat torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
The EU emphasised its commitment to help strengthen the rule of law in the Kyrgyz Republic, and encouraged the Kyrgyz Republic to implement the detailed recommendations on torture prevention that were adopted at the EU-Kyrgyz Republic Civil Society Seminar that was held in Osh in October 2014. The EU raised individual cases, including the case of Mr Azimjan Askarov, an imprisoned human rights defender.
The EU underlined its concerns regarding the possible adoption of the draft 'foreign agents' law and the draft law on criminalising the promotion of 'non-traditional sexual relations', both of which are currently being considered in the Kyrgyz Republic's parliament.
The next round of the EU-Kyrgyz Republic Human Rights Dialogue should be held in the Kyrgyz Republic in 2016.
More info on EU relations with the Kyrgyz Republic: http://eeas.europa.eu/kyrgyz_republic/index_en.htm