Kyrgyzstan: Independent Detention Monitoring of Closed Institutions

Monday, October 29, 2007

Photo courtesy of the OSCE Academy


On 16-17 October the APT and its partners, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights' Regional Office in Central Asia and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe's (OSCE) Academy sponsored two round-table events in Bishkek designed to promote the ratification and effective implementation of the OPCAT in Kyrgyzstan - the first national discussions to focus on the Optional Protocol.

 

 

Date: 16-17 October 2007
Place:
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Partners: 

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights' Regional Office in Central Asia

Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe's Academy in Bishkek 

Purpose: To promote the ratification and effective implementation of the OPCAT.
Activities: 

On 16-17 October 2007 the APT and its partners, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights' Regional Office in Central Asia and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe's (OSCE) Academy sponsored two round-table events in Bishkek designed to promote the ratification and effective implementation of the OPCAT in Kyrgyzstan. 

The first round-table event, 'Independent Detention Monitoring of Closed Institutions in Kyrgyzstan', was attended by a range of government and civil society representatives who discussed their joint experiences - both positive and negative - of monitoring places of detention and the possibility of the country ratifying the OPCAT. In this latter connection draft legislation which would ratify the instrument has already been submitted to the Kyrgyz parliament, Jogorko Kenesh, for its consideration.

The second event, 'OPCAT: Next Steps for Kyrgyz Civil Society', was held on 17 October and aimed to support Kyrgyz civil society in their efforts to ensure that the instrument is both ratified and an effective national visiting mechanism is established in the country. Around 15 civil society activists participated in the discussion. 

During the two exchanges the experiences of other countries were relayed in relation to ratification and implementation of the OPCAT and the best practices were drawn from these national processes. In particular, Lilit Petrosyan of the Civil Society Institute in Armenia was invited to Bishkek to speak about her organization's successful ratification campaign in Armenia.


The event was used to officially launch the Russian translation of the APT’s publication, Guide on the Establishment and Designation of National Preventive Mechanisms. The publication was financially supported by OSCE-ODIHR and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.

Outcome: As the first national discussion on the OPCAT the round-table meeting raised general awareness about the implications of the OPCAT for Kyrgyzstan, particularly among the government representatives. The events also gave civil society greater impetus and campaigning knowledge to ensure that the instrument becomes a reality in the country in the near future. The examples and campaign techniques given from other countries were especially useful in this respect.    
Next steps: The APT will remain in close contact with OHCHR's Regional Office in Central Asia and the OSCE's Academy in Bishkek to track the ratification of the draft instrument in the Kyrgyz parliament and to ensure that further meetings and exchanges are held on the establishment of an national preventive mechanism. For this latter purpose a working group will be set up, comprising civil society actors. It is envisaged that this working group will meet in November 2007.   
Contact Person: Matthew Pringle, APT Europe & Central Asia Programme Officer

Participants at the NGO round-table

 

Some of the participants at the NGO round-table on 17 October. (Photo courtesy of the OSCE Academy)