Kyrgyzstan says the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will lose its privileged status in the country.
Bishkek formally terminated this week a 1993 agreement on cooperation with the United States after Bishkek protested a U.S. decision to grant a prestigious human rights award to an imprisoned Kyrgyz activist.
Kyrgyz Deputy Foreign Minister Emil Kaikiyev said on July 22 that USAID will lose tax and customs privileges, while U.S. nationals involved in aid projects will no longer enjoy immunity and status equal to that of diplomats.
The Foreign Ministry on July 17 protested Washington’s decision to confer the 2014 Human Rights Defender Award on Azimjon Askarov, who is serving a life sentence in a Bishkek prison on charges of “creating a threat to civil peace and stability in society.”
Askarov, an ethnic Uzbek, was convicted following interethnic clashes in southern Kyrgyzstan in June 2010 when more than 400 people were killed.