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Kyrgyz Parliament Debates 'Foreign Agent' Law

BISHKEK -- Kyrgyzstan's parliament is discussing a controversial bill that would impose "foreign agent" status on nongovernmental organizations receiving funds from abroad.

On November 24, the day when the proposal was being debated by lawmakers, the Justice Ministry issued a statement saying there was no need for such a law.

The ministry said that existing legislation was sufficient to protect national security and that re-registration of NGOs nationwide would be costly.

Nurkamal Madaliev, one of the bill's proponents, told RFE/RL that that the law was needed because "old legislation cannot fully provide national security for Kyrgyzstan in the rapidly changing world."

Many in Kyrgyzstan criticize the suggestion, calling it an attempt to copy Russia, where a "foreign agent" law was adopted in 2012 and has been criticized by civil society groups and Western governments.