Amidst Unrest, Kyrgyzstan Must Ensure Safety for its People

Chairwoman Hautala calls Kyrgyzstan authorities to ensure that there are effective protection and humanitarian measures for the people fleeing the violence from the city of Osh and other places in southern Kyrgyzstan.[:] It is vitally important that the government of Uzbekistan shall assist the refugees crossing the border in the best possible way and above all, that the Uzbek authorities will keep the crossings open. As the violence continues it is of utmost importance that at all times the government of Kyrgyzstan work closely with the UN to prevent the unrest from escalating and spreading further into the southern Kyrgyzstan.

In time of great tension and unrest, the use of emergency powers is legitimate. However, I urge the authorities to be mindful of the risks these measures pose. It is of crucial importance that any additional powers the security forces have are used with great care and consideration and lifted at the first reasonable opportunity. Indeed, I am severely alarmed of the granting of powers of shoot to kill by the authorities to the security forces. This measure can feed into the prolongation of violence and escalation of the conflict, and most of all, violates the highest ranking international human rights legal norm that is the right to life.

I underline: All conflicts have a tremendous human cost. Restoring life and humane conditions for all the people in Kyrgyzstan must now be the key priority for the Kyrgyz authorities.