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HRW Calls On EU Leaders To Raise Rights Concerns With Kyrgyz President

A human rights group says the leaders of the European Union, France, Germany, and Switzerland should raise “pressing” human rights concerns with Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev, who is due to visit European capitals from March 22 for talks with senior officials.

In a statement issued to coincide with the visit, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said European leaders should seek firm promises to reject two bills before the Kyrgyzstan parliament that are against human rights.

HRW said one is a ”blatantly discriminatory” antigay “propaganda” bill and the other a “foreign agents” bill that would limit the ability of human rights and other nongovernmental groups to continue their work.

The rights organization also said that EU leaders should press Atambaev to release immediately imprisoned rights defender Azimjon Askarov.

HRW researcher Mihra Rittman said European leaders should speak out about the rights concerns and urge Atambaev to call a halt to human rights abuses in his country.

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