Press briefing notesOffice of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Concern over steps to dissolve Kyrgyzstan’s national torture prevention centre
24 June 2022
Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Ravina Shamdasani
We are alarmed by measures under way in Kyrgyzstan to dissolve the National Centre for the Prevention of Torture and transfer its functions to the Kyrgyz Institute of the Ombudsman. We urge the government to halt this plan which risks weakening Kyrgyzstan’s efforts to prevent torture.
In a session of Parliament on 15 June, a senior minister outlined the Government’s plans, arguing that the National Centre had limited powers and had itself recognised that its budget was small. He asserted that the way forward was to merge it with the Ombudsman’s Institute, so creating a stronger monitoring body.
We stress that the National Centre has operated with independence since it was set up in 2012, garnering praise from the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and other international human rights experts for its functioning.
We encourage the Kyrgyz Government to maintain the National Centre against Torture as an independent and separate National Preventive Mechanism, as required under international law, and to provide it with the necessary resources for it to continue to effectively carry out its mandate.
We also call on the Government to take steps to bring the Ombudsman’s Institute in compliance with internationally recognised standards for independence, plurality and accountability for National Human Rights Institutions, known as the Paris Principles.
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