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Anti-torture and other human rights groups vulnerable in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan

Members of the NGO coalitions against torture and other human rights groups in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan operate in an increasingly insecure environment. Existing NGO legislation in all three countries does not provide sufficient safeguards to activists and groups to freely exercise their human right to freedom of association and the organizations issuing this statement are concerned that new legislation is being prepared to further limit the space in which groups and activists can operate.

Local and international groups issuing this statement urge lawmakers to closely consult with NGOs in order to ensure that any legislation affecting civil society associations is strictly in line with international human rights law.

In all three countries activists, particularly those defending the rights of detainees held on charges involving “religious extremism,“ “terrorism“ or “undermining national security,“ are in many cases closely monitored by the authorities; and they and their organizations are targets of restrictive legislation and policies, negative political rhetoric and media propaganda.

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