International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR) and five of its partners sent a joint letter to the EU’s High Representative Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini ahead of her visit to Central Asia on 7-8 July 2019. Mogherini will attend the annual EU-Central Asia Ministerial Meeting in Bishkek. In their letter, the NGOs ask Mogherini to use this meeting to raise key human rights issues with the foreign ministers of the Central Asian countries, in particular:
- serious violations of the right to freedom for peaceful assembly during mass protests held in connection with the presidential elections in Kazakhstan in June 2019;
- the deterioration of the health of imprisoned human rights defender Azimjan Askarov in Kyrgyzstan and his urgent need for medical assistance abroad;
- concerns that draft legislation may result in new restrictions on NGOs in Tajikistan, where civil society space has been shrinking in recent years;
- increased efforts by Turkmenistan’s government to prevent the dissemination of independent information in the context of the current economic crisis; and
- the continued persecution of civil society activists, human rights defenders and journalists in Uzbekistan, despite the government’s proclaimed reform agenda.
Download the letter here.