Response of NGOs to the post of President of the Kyrgyz Republic

Dear Sadyr Nurgozhoevich,

Representatives of NGOs in Kyrgyzstan were very upset and considered your decision on the bill “On Amendments to the Law of the Kyrgyz Republic “On Non-Commercial Organizations” (on “foreign representatives”) as ill-conceived. Your decision and the government’s policy regarding the signing of the bill on “foreign representatives” will lead to devastating socio-economic and political consequences in the country.

We appealed  to you as to the Guarantor of the Constitution. If the state is interested in development of the socio-economic and political spheres, improvement of the life and the well-being of the population, then it should promote the development of civil society and  building the legal state. . The main features of a of legal  state are the priority of law, supremacy of law, priority of human and civil rights and freedoms, developed civil society, etc.

NGOs of Kyrgyzstan were subjected to sharp criticism in your Appeal, the humiliation of becoming “foreign representatives” working in the interests of another foreign state, accusations of using grant funds for personal purposes, lack of registration at the Ministry of Justice, non-payment of taxes and social deductions , failure to submit reports to the relevant state bodies , etc.

Before signing  the law by you, NGOs in Kyrgyzstan asked you for a meeting with NGOs to clarify the issues related to NGOs. But, to our great regret, you were not able to meet with the NGOs for more than 2 weeks. NGOs requested a meeting as early as March 14, 2024. April 2, 2024 was the day of  signing the Law by you. After the Appeals to you and the proposed meeting with the NGOs, your opinion could be cardinally changed . We, representatives of NGOs, are the citizens of Kyrgyzstan being the same as other citizens, and we are not the “foreign agents” or “foreign representatives”.

In this regard, the NGO of Kyrgyzstan consider it necessary to respond to your decision on signing the bill on the “foreign representatives”:

  1. Regarding the lack of registration of NGOs at the Ministry of Justice

You stated that “NGOs working in our country for 30 years were not  registered anywhere.”

But a legal entity is considered to be established  from the date of its state registration (Articles 84 and 86 of the Civil Code). Without registration of a legal entity, the organizational activities cannot be carried out.

As of July 2023, the unified database of legal entities of the Ministry of Justice includes more than 30 thousand non-commercialorganizations by organizational and legal forms – public association, foundation and institution, namely: public associations – 10,313, foundations – 7,504 and institutions – 11,313 .

On April 7, 2024 you reported in the Kabar news agency that “The draft law on amendments to the Law “On Non-Commercial Organizations” has been discussed for several months. It was said then that one of the main goals of its adoption was to re-register the non-governmental organizations financed from abroad and give them the status of “foreign representatives”.

But a reasonable question arises, why the  state that annually receiving about half a billion dollars as  foreign assistance from the International Financial Institutions and bilateral donors are not the “foreign representative”?

Recipients of foreign funding are not only NGOs, but also the governmental bodies and the Jogorku Kenesh of the Kyrgyz Republic, which is directly involved in political activities.

Here there is the discrimination based on funding and labeling the NGO sector as a “foreign representative”.

  1. Regarding the fact that NGOs do not submit reports to the relevant authorities and use funds for personal purposes, that NGOs deceive grantors and donors

You stated that NGOs “..did not report to anyone. They only opened bank accounts, took money from foreign donors and used it at their discretion, including for personal purposes. From now on, like everyone else, they will be registered with the Ministry of Justice. Bank accounts will be opened. Now they will start working openly”.

We inform you that in the previous Appeal of NGOs of Kyrgyzstan to you, the information was provided in details on the number and type of reports submitted by NGOs to the relevant authorities in accordance with the laws of the Kyrgyz Republic: Tax reports, Reports on social deductions, Statistical reports, Accounting reports, about  the laws of the Kyrgyz Republic, on the basis which the reports are submitted by  NGOs. In 2021, the amendments were adopted to the law of the Kyrgyz Republic, according to which NGOs should submit financial reports using a separate new form.

NGOs in Kyrgyzstan are conscientious  taxpayers for 30 years. The NGOs that have resources, grants and other income-generating activities conscientiously pay taxes and provide all types of reporting accordance with the legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic.

Currently, NGOs submit regular reports to the State Tax Service, the Social Fund and Statistical authorities on the basis of the following laws:

The Tax Code of the Kyrgyz Republic obliges NGOs to submit tax reports and a single tax Declaration, the Code of the Kyrgyz Republic on non-tax income obliges NGOs to submit a report on non-tax payments, the Law of the Kyrgyz Republic “On State Social Insurance” obliges NGOs to submit reports on social deductions, the Law of the Kyrgyz Republic “On Official Statistics” prescribes NGOs to  submit statistical reports, the Law of the KR “On Accounting” obliges NGOs to submit financial statements, the Law of the KR “On Non-Commercial Organizations” obliges NGOs to publish website summary information on the State Tax Inspection  about the sources of funds, the directions of their expenditure, as well as information concerning the acquired, used and alienated property.

In addition, NGOs submit reports to granters on the use of the grant funds.

The openness and accountability of NGOs is evidenced by their contribution to the country’s economy. The share of NGO contribution to GDP is equal to 0.3%.

You did not provide specific information about the use of grant funds for personal purposes, and there was no such information in the open sources. You shouldn’t accuse the entire NGO sector without providing evidences. According to the presumption of innocence, “a person is considered innocent until his guilt in the crime committed is proven in the manner prescribed by law and established by a court verdict that has entered into legal force. The most important part of the presumption of innocence is the provision that the burden of proving the charge lies with the accuser.”

We would like to inform you that NGOs also submit reports to donors on the usage of grant funds, they are subject to auditchecks, and donors carefully monitor the use of grant funds. No one international organization will provide grant support to NGOs if the NGO does not have bank accounts or frozen assets.

  1. Regarding the donors who asked the President of the Kyrgyz Republic to adopt the bill on “foreign representatives”

You stated that “They (NGOs) are spreading false information, saying: “We will be persecuted, we will be detained as agents of a foreign state. And the donors believed. That is why they  asked  me not to sign that law”.

You did not note which donors stated that you should not sign that bill. Such information was not  published anywhere.

A lot of international organizations suggested repealing that bill and protecting the civil society from discrimination, including the following:

1) Head of RSF’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Jeanne Cavelier: “

“After arrests of journalists and censorship attempts, the law vilifying supposed ‘foreign agents’ marks a new stage in President Japarov’s growing authoritarianism in Kyrgyzstan. The envisioned draconian measures are liable to throttle independent media that are already under intense police pressure. This law is just a pretext for clamping down even more on Kyrgyz civil society and crushing all media pluralism. We call for its immediate repeal.

2) Matthew Miller on social network X:  “We are deeply concerned with the Kyrgyz Republic’s enactment of the “Foreign Representatives” law, which puts at risk the critical work of NGOs that help the people of the Kyrgyz Republic. We urge the Kyrgyz government to protect civil society – a cornerstone of democracy”.

3) EU Delegation to the Kyrgyz Republic: “The recent adoption of the legislation on «Non-Commercial Organizations», more commonly known as the «Foreign Representatives» legislation, in the Kyrgyz Republic, is a worrying development. Legislation that restricts civil society organizations’ ability to operate freely could have a negative impact on the Kyrgyz society and their cooperation with international partners, like the European Union.

4) Gulnoza Said, CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Representative:President Sadyr Japarov’s decision to follow Russia’s lead on «foreign agent» legislation threatens to erase Kyrgyzstan’s 30-year status as a relative haven of free speech and democracy in post-Soviet Central Asia,», «While the law’s current form does not directly target media outlets, it could cripple the work of press freedom groups and nonprofits running several of Kyrgyzstan’s celebrated independent media organizations and must be repealed.

5) Press Secretary of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Jeremy Lawrence: “The law on “foreign representatives” signed by the President of Kyrgyzstan will pose a serious threat to the work of numerous civil society organizations in the country and, more broadly, will violate fundamental rights to freedom of expression, associations, peaceful assembly and the right to take part in the public affairs.

6) OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Teresa Ribeiro:

“I stand with # ODIHR’s concern over Kyrgyzstan’s  newly adopted ‘foreign representatives’ law, as it could pose a threat to media freedom and pluralism in the country”.

7) others.

  1. Regarding the division of NGO activities into political and non-political activities

The bill divides the activities of NGOs into political and non-political activities. But every citizen of the country has political rights, as well as social and economic. According to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), UN Resolutions, every citizen has the right to be engaged in the political activity. One of the main political tasks of the state is to ensure human rights enshrined in the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic.

The prohibition to be engaged in the political activity contradicts the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic and international human rights documents.

Article 37 of the Political Rights section of the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic establishes the following norms:

“2. Citizens of the Kyrgyz Republic have the right to participate in the management of the affairs of society and the state, both directly and through their representatives”;

“4. Citizens of the Kyrgyz Republic have the right to participate in the discussion and adoption of laws and decisions of republican and local significance.

NGOs in Kyrgyzstan have been working in various spheres, playing a political role in society, assisting  to improvement of the public administration and ensuring the rights of different categories of citizens. Political activities are carried out by NGOs in defense of human rights and public interests through various peaceful instruments of activity, such as training, the work of crisis centers and assistance centers, suggestions, public appeals to government bodies, participation in the public and parliamentary hearings, monitoring the observance  of rights of different categories of citizens, research and analytical work, conducting public debates, discussions, surveys, speeches and much more.

The provisions of the bill that restrict the “political activities” of NGOs contradict the ICCPR, UN Resolutions on the right of citizens to participate in the management of public affairs and the above mentioned provisions of the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic.

  1. Regarding the lack of secrets in the state

The issue of the lack of secrets in the state is controversial, since the President of the Kyrgyz Republic did not indicate about which state secrets he talked.

In conclusion of the Appeal, NGOs of Kyrgyzstan ask to repeal the signed Law “On Amendments to the Law of the Kyrgyz Republic “On Non-Commercial Organizations”.

A developed, strong and active civil society is one of the main indicators of the level of socio-economic, political and other aspects of a country’s development. NGOs in Kyrgyzstan are a reliable partner and allies  of the state and have the unique experience and knowledge capital in solving various actual issues and problems to improve the lives of their beneficiaries.

We wrote Appeals to you and we thought that you were being misled. It turns out that we were mistaken, you knew everything and supported the initiators.

We appeal to you to repeal the signed law “On Amendments to the Law of the Kyrgyz Republic “On Non-Commercial Organizations” (on “foreign representatives”). To be the Guarantor of the Constitution, the rights and freedoms of man and citizen.


  1. Aitbaeva Chinara, PF “Nash Vek”,
  2. Davletbaeva Galina, NGO “Citizens for Development”,
  3. Toroev Zhenishbek, ANGO “Advocacy Center for Human Rights”,
  4. Gulnara Jurabaeva, “Erkin gezit”,
  5. Kambarov Ilgiz, “Green Alliance KG”,
  6. Ilyasova Syyapat, “Chuy ayaldar borboru”,
  7. Kamil Ruziev, OO “Ventus”,


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