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Protests In Bishkek Against NGO Registration Legislation

  • RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service

Kyrgyz human rights activists have gathered outside of parliament in Bishkek to protest against a proposed "foreign agents" law being considered by lawmakers.

The bill would require noncommercial, nongovernmental organizations involved in political activities -- and which receive any funds from foreign sources -- to be labled as “foreign agents”.

The bill is similar to one in force in Russia since 2012, which NGOs say has been used to silence dissent.

Critics say these laws unfairly label NGOs as "foreign agents," thus suggesting they are involved in espionage.

On March 12, the Kyrgyz legislation passed in its second reading.

If the parliament approves the bill again on its third reading, it will go to the president for his signature and become law.