On 20 and 21 April 2016, representatives of Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law (KIBHR), Nota Bene (Tajikistan), and the NGO coalitions against torture in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan met European Union (EU) representatives in Brussels to discuss recommendations aimed at strengthening human rights protection and torture prevention in the three Central Asian countries. The advocacy visit was carried out together with International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR) and the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (Poland) as part of joint projects.
IPHR had organized meetings for the human rights defenders with officials of the European External Action Service, the office of the EU Special Representative for Central Asia, the European Commission (the Directorate Generals for International Development and Cooperation vs. for Trade), as well as with Members of the European Parliament and the Secretariat of the Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs.
The activists also provided the EU representatives they met with briefing papers highlighting key concerns and recommendations and featuring case descriptions of victims of human rights violations. These briefing papers are aimed at informing the EU representatives ahead of upcoming discussions with their Central Asian counterparts, such as during the EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue and the EU-Tajikistan Human Rights Dialogue set to take place on 6 and 7 June respectively and during other bilateral and multilateral contacts.
The NGO visit to Brussels took place in the framework of the EU-funded projects “Action for Freedom from Torture in Kazakhstan and Tajikistan” and “A Transnational Civil Society Coalition in Support of Fundamental Rights in Central Asia.”