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Kyrgyz Lawmakers Reject Controversial NGO Law

Kyrgyzstan’s parliament has voted to reject a bill on nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that receive foreign funding.

After the bill’s third reading on May 12, lawmakers voted 65-46 against the legislation, which rights activists denounced as discriminatory and contrary to international human rights standards.

Originally proposed in 2013, the bill was based on Russia’s 2012 “foreign agents” law, which NGOs say has been used to silence dissent.

In April, the latest draft of the proposed Kyrgyz legislation switched the controversial “foreign agent” label to “foreign noncommercial organization.” It also watered down the heavy reporting burden for NGOs that receive foreign funding to a simpler requirement to publish annual expenditure and funding reports online.

Despite the changes, rights advocates continued to oppose the text.

Based on reporting by and The Diplomat