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Pillay urges Kyrgyzstan to act on calls for accountability and reconciliation in new report on 2010 violence

GENEVA (4 May 2011) – The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Wednesday welcomed the newly published report by the Kyrgyzstan Inquiry Commission (KIC), and urged the Government of Kyrgyzstan to act quickly on the report’s recommendations that it carry out further investigations and prosecutions in the wake of the inter-ethnic violence that cost around 470 lives in June 2010.

“This report should give considerable impetus to Kyrgyzstan’s efforts to combat impunity and address issues of accountability after the inter-ethnic strife in the southern part of the country last summer,” Pillay said, after the KIC, headed by former Finnish parliamentarian Dr. Kimmo Kiljunen, published its detailed report on Tuesday. “There can be no lasting reconciliation without justice, and I believe this report sets out a viable pathway to achieving both.”

The High Commissioner commended the President of the Kyrgyz Republic Roza Otunbaeva for initiating the independent KIC inquiry and report. She noted the detailed comments on the report by the Government and said she hoped it would “take the next logical step by acting swiftly and firmly to carry out its recommendations.”

“This is the first time that an international commission of inquiry has been established in a Central Asian state,” Pillay said. “And I understand it was given unimpeded access to carry out its work properly. It is important that the Government, at both national and local levels, carries out the essential follow-up in the same spirit, which, given the nature of the work to be done – namely establishing individual criminal responsibility – will require courage and determination.”

The report describes how, in addition to the 470 people who died, some 1,900 people were injured, more than 400,000 displaced and an unknown number of women suffered sexual violence amid widespread looting and destruction of property. It notes that the majority of the victims were ethnic Uzbeks, but that ethnic Kyrgyz also suffered very significant losses.

Pillay welcomed the Government’s announcement that it intends to set up a special commission to implement, and monitor the implementation of, the recommendations contained in the KIC and other reports into the June 2010 events as well as the recent decision by the General Prosecutor to investigate all allegations of torture, a practice which continues today in Kyrgyzstan.

The High Commissioner said she was ready to assist the Government in a variety of ways through her regional office in the capital Bishkek and in close cooperation with international and regional partners. These include rebuilding and strengthening its rule of law institutions; making the rule of law more accessible, equitable and effective to ensure the promotion and protection of human rights; as well as enabling the development of a more tolerant and inclusive society.

OHCHR Country Page – Kyrgyz Republic: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/ENACARegion/Pages/KGIndex.aspx

For more information or interviews, please contact spokesperson Rupert Colville (+41 22 917 9767 or rcolville@ohchr.org ) or press officer: Ravina Shamdasani (+ 41 22 917 9310 or rshamdasani@ohchr.org )