Kyrgyzstan

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Updated reports on conscription and conscientious objection to military service are now available on Austria, Kyrgyzstan and Singapore.

Find all the available reports here.

Submission on Kyrgyzstan: Universal Periodic Review, prepared June 2014

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Information submitted by the International Fellowship of Reconcilitation and Conscience and Peace Tax International

INTERNATIONAL FELLOWSHIP OF RECONCILIATION (IFOR)

and

CONSCIENCE AND PEACE TAX INTERNATIONAL

UPR SUBMISSION KYRGYZSTAN JAN/FEB 2015

Contact: Derek Brett

IFOR Main Representative to the UN, Geneva

derekubrett@gmail.com

Executive summary:

This submission focusses on issues of military service and freedom of conscience in Kyrgyzstan. The specific concerns it raises are:

The recognition as conscientious objectors to military service only members of specific religious denominations, and discriminatory features of the alternative service available.

Shortcomings in the 2008 Law on Religious Associations

Militarisation of the secondary education system

Trial of civilians in military courts

KYRGYZSTAN: Some religious groups have right to CO recognised

On the 11th August, the President of Kyrgyzstan, Almazbek Atambaev, signed amendments into the law on Military Duties For Kyrgyz Citizens that allowed for some 'officially recognised' religious groups to avoid military service. The religious group must reject military service, and the CO must pay a fee of 18-20,000 soms ($285-300).

For more information, see: Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty, 'Conscientious Objectors in Kyrgyzstan allowed to avoid military service', August 2015: http://www.rferl.org/content/kyrgyzstan-conscientious-objectors/27183276.html

Kyrgyzstan resumes conscription gets new defence minister

By Stan Rogers

For CentralAsiaOnline.com

22 July 2010

BISHKEK – Young men must serve one year in the military, the Kyrgyz government decreed July 19 according to media reports. The decree abolishes a 2009 Bakiyev-era law allowing young men to pay KGS 12,000 (US $250) and train for a month instead of serving for a full year. The army needs more ethnic Uzbeks and Russians, President Rosa Otunbayeva said, according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Maj Gen Abibilla Kudaiberdiyev was announced as defence minister, replacing Ismail Isakov, who resigned to run in the October parliamentary elections.

http://centralasiaonline.com/cocoon/caii/xhtml/en_GB/features/caii/newsbriefs/2010/07/22/newsbrief-07

The Next Arms Race?

October 15, 2009

An arms race may be fermenting in Central Asia. The region’s ethnic diversity coupled with its fierce nationalism is providing fertile ground for competitive militarization. Weapon purchases are on the rise and standing armies are being bolstered. Take for example Kyrgyzstan. Last December the Kyrgyz government passed a singularly aggressive draft bill. According to First Lieutenant Ivan Mikhailov the measure is expected to bolster the current 12,500 troops with an additional 6,000 in the mobile reserve and 20,000 in the alternative service this year alone. The active call up began October 1st and is obligatory for all Kyrgyz men 18 and over.

At least 3 thousand people serve conscription in Kyrgyzstan

08/09-2009

12:22, Bishkek – News Agency '24.kg',

By Alena KUCHENKO

About three thousand young people serve conscription in Kyrgyz army, Ivan Mihailov, assistant chief of the Defense Ministry's press service told the news agency 24.kg Tuesday. In 2009 the state has called up a required number of conscript soldiers to serve one year. 'Nowadays military service is as popular as it was in Soviet time. Firstly, a year-long service practically liquidates humiliation of conscripts by older soldiers: all servicemen are equal. Secondly, army service became more interesting: we have new a training program,' Mihailov said.

URL: http://eng.24.kg/community/2009/09/08/8942.html

Kyrgyzstan to shorten military service from 2006

Interfax reported that Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev has signed amendments to the law on mandatory military service, which will reduce military service by six months from 1 January 2006 on. Presently, the term of military service is 1.5 years. However, this cannot be seen as a step towards disarmement: "The Defense Ministry told Interfax that ongoing military reforms envision building a professional army and increasing the number of contract servicemen".
Source: Interfax, 23 July 2004, http://www.interfax.com/com?id=5742332&item=Kyrg

The quest for Caspian oil - at what human cost?

by Lindsay Barnes

International interest in the resource-rich former Soviet states in Central Asia and the Caucasus has surged over the past decade. Why has Caspian oil and gas suddenly become so significant to the global energy market? What are the consequences for the region's inhabitants as they struggle to forge fledgling democracies?

An unrecognised human right: Conscientious objection in the Caucasus and Central Asia

by Silke Makowski

In the region of Caucasus and Central Asia, no country offers a free choice between military service and alternative service, most of them even having no legal basis for a substitute service at all. The few states that passed a law on some kind of alternative service haven't implemented it according to international standards: in Georgia, substitute service isn't available in practice and in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, large bribes are necessary to perform it.

Concluding observations of the Human Rights Committee: Kyrgyzstan

CCPR/CO/69/KGZ
24 July 2000

(...)

18. The Committee takes note that conscientious objection to military service is allowed only to members of a registered religious organization whose teachings prohibit the use of arms. The Committee regrets that the State party has not sought to justify why the provision on alternative service entails a period of service twice as long as that required of military conscripts, and why persons of higher education serve for a considerably lesser period in the military and in alternative service (arts. 18 and 26).

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