International Human Rights AttorneyAccording to the UN News Center, the United Nations human rights chief has called on Kyrgyzstan to address corruption and discrimination, adding that they are severely hampering the nation’s economic growth and social prosperity.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, at a press conference in Bishkek, the Kyrgyz capital, stated that:

“Institutional deficiencies continue to hamper the delivery of justice and undermine the rule of law in Kyrgyzstan. The authorities have a duty to ensure accountability for crimes and abuses, including by the authorities themselves, and guarantee justice for victims and their families.”

High Commissioner Pillay stressed that corruption affects every aspect of society and has a “deeply detrimental” effect on the social and economic rights of citizens. In particular, she expressed concern over reports of torture by the authorities and stated”

“Under international law there is an absolute prohibition of torture. This is reflected in the Kyrgyz Constitution… yet we continue to receive evidence of torture being committed by State authorities, including 68 cases of alleged torture or ill-treatment between August 2010 and February 2012, in the context of criminal investigations into the June 2010 violence in Osh and neighbouring regions.”

In addition, the human rights chief emphasized that the Government must tackle discrimination against citizens due to their ethnic or religious identity, citing the case of Osh where around 50 per cent of the population is of Uzbek origin and yet there are no Uzbek judges among the judiciary.

High Commissioner Pillay praised efforts made by the Government to increase accountability and improve its national human rights protection system, but underscored that much remains to be done. She also reiterated the UN’s support to help national authorities achieve progress no this front.

Read more at UN News Center.