Kyrgyzstan introduces foreign agents' law

RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 03 Apr 2024 by Alex Teddy

On April 3 President Japarov signed the act. The law requires many entities to register as foreign agents. The law is based on a similar one in Russia. The law will apply to many NGOs that receive funding from other countries. Those that are involved in what are deemed to be political activities will have to report themselves to the government. Japarov said that the law will control what NGOs do. Many human rights organizations say it will impede their work. Japarov said that Kyrgyz NGOs are defrauding their foreign donors. He assured people that proper human rights activities will not be interfered with. Some of the NGOs that will be impacted by the law obtain medicines and medical equipment for HIV and cancer. There are education NGOs that are also listed as foreign agents. There is also an increasingly repressive environment for the media. Kyrgyzstan is a former Soviet republic in Central Asia. It is the only country in the region that a few years ago was considered a full democracy. It is a member of the Russian-led military alliance since the CSTO. Kyrgyzstan is officially neutral in the Ukraine War. However, it has been helpful to Russia in facilitating sanctions evasion. Remittances from guest workers in Russia are crucial to the economy. Kyrgyzstan is the second poorest of the 15 former Soviet states.

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