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FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION IN CENTRAL ASIA-2019

 6-05-2019, 00:41

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION IN CENTRAL ASIA-2019

  Inveterate low scorers: level of the freedom of expression in Central Asian states is below 4

 

School of Peacemaking and Media Technology in CA published a report "FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION IN CENTRAL ASIA: TRENDS AND PECULIARITIES-2019.”

 

The full report in Russian is available at http://ca-mediators.net/ru/ru_news/5309-svoboda-vyrazheniya-v-centralnoy-azii-regionalnye-trendy.html

This research differs from previous ones by a wider focus on the freedom of expression, and the authors didn’t focus on the media freedom level only. Comments on own or public affairs, public opinion polls, discussion of human rights, journalism, expression of ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious identities, creative self-expression, topics and discussions at various events and trainings are the examples of the forms of expression, so they were tested for the purpose of rankings.

The researchers prepared this index on a 5-point scale, where 5 - excellent; 4 - good; 3 - fair; 2 - poor; 1- very poor.

Turkmenistan holds the worst position in the Central Asia. Respondents and researchers summarised all data and put this country to the lowest place by giving it a 1. "1” means the legitimate freedom of expression, yet it cannot be exercised. People have no alternative sources of information, content is widely blocked, people don’t take part in political discussions because of fear of repressions[1].)

Tajikistan has 2 in the freedom of expression and follows Turkmenistan as it has blocked access to independent web sites and social media, while the level of censorship in the media remain very high. The authorities strengthen online censorship when the social and political situation in the country gets tense[2].

Despite positive changes in Uzbekistan emphasised by some international indexes, namely release of journalists who had been arrested during Karimov’s regime from prison, this country of "nominal shift of power” keeps controlling internet and censoring the users.

Somewhat more than "2” in the index means that respondents think there’s still a long way to go before the real improvement of the freedom of expression situation[3].

A critical situation with the freedom of expression has developed in Kazakhstan; the country was given a bit above 2 in this index. On April 21, 2019, two activists – Asiya Tulesova and Beibaris Tolymbekov – were detained in Almaty for 15 days for holding a banner with a slogan "You cannot run from the truth – I have a choice”[4]. It happened during the marathon with 17 thousand participants, when the activists were holding a banner along the route and expressed their opinion that way. The sports campaign was dedicated to the presidential election to be held in Kazakhstan this June[5].

Kyrgyzstan, which takes the highest position – 3+, and cannot reach 4, adopts the methods used in neighbouring countries to repress freedom of expression[6].

 

The level of the freedom of expression in Central Asia states was assessed by experts according to the following 5-point scale:

5 Freedom of expression is encouraged, democracy is thriving, lack of censorship, understandable legislation, citizens express their opinions openly.

4 Freedom of expression is encouraged, access to information is available, citizens take part in political discussions, existing legislation, yet interpretation and enforcement issues remain; improvement of the skills of media literacy, media culture and network ethics.

3 Freedom of expression is secured in legislation, access to information is partially available, information is filtered, citizens take part in political issues discussions on online platforms only, communications are not protected, content may be blocked partially to restrict the freedom of expression, users may be interrogated for their statements.

2 Freedom of expression is secured in legislation, access to information is limited via various mechanisms, including countering dissent, citizens rarely express their opinion on political issues, detentions and arrests for expression of opinions are practised.

1 Freedom of expression is secured in legislation, yet not implemented, people have no alternative sources of information, content is widely blocked, citizens don’t take part in political discussions because of fear of repressions.

Opinions of respondents about the improvement of the freedom of expression:
84% of 100% of respondents think political changes, more freedoms and media pluralism are needed;
79% of 100% are confident that the existing laws may be enforced by political will;
63% of 100% spoke about the need to change the laws and make the authorities and the society follow them;
49% of 100% think the freedom of expression will expand further without internet blocking because it has immense limits;

33% of 100% hope more on the active civil society with a sustainable stance and capacities to promote the freedom of expression;

16% of 100% said the society should seek the freedom of expression;
4% of 100% were pessimistic and said nothing could be done to change the current situation.

Main trends influencing the freedom of expression in central Asia

One of the trends that has a negative influence on the freedom of expression in Central Asian states is the existing law enforcement practice based on wide interpretation of the incitement of hatred and hostility in local criminal statutes (1), which makes them even more dangerous. Kazakhstan is the leader in the region in the restriction of the freedom of expression by charging journalists, users and activists with the incitement of various kinds of hatred[7].Misuse antiextremism (2) is the second trend used to restrict the freedom of expression in the majority of Central Asian states in the contexts of the above statutes. On the one hand, it is due to the vague wording of the definition of "extremism” in local laws, which is the heritage of criminal statutes of the former Soviet Union. On the other hand, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, which comprise a military-political bloc, Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) supervised by Russia, use the common anti-extremist legislation, where such vague concepts enable their misuse to restrict the freedom of expression. The on-going references to the threat of extremisms/terrorism trend allow Central Asian authorities to block online resources.

The growing penetration of the internet in Central Asia, the increase in the number of users created third trend - implementation of user-generated content into professional journalism (3). And finally, researchers recorded rather high level of propaganda and hate speech (4) in the media. However, despite the fact that government propaganda is reported in media outlets of all five Central Asian states, hate speech prevails in Kyrgyzstan, to a lesser extent it exists in Kazakhstan, and is almost missing in the media outlets in other countries.

 

About methodology: The level of the freedom of expression was determined based on the findings of annual media monitoring for hate speech in public discourse, surveys and in-depth interviews with journalists, editors and media specialists of Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and analysis of journalistic articles and user generated content based on a special scale, as well as reports about media situation. 2,189 documented media texts and visual content were analyzed in total, which were published on 79 open media resources. Also, verbal and written surveys were held and covered 500 respondents, including journalists, editors, bloggers, human rights activists of the five countries. Moreover, we used opinions of nearly 700 participants of trainings and conferences conducted by the School of Peacemaking in 2018-2019 about the current level of the freedom of expression and threats in Central Asian states. All comments were documented, processed by experts of the media monitoring application, and then systematised for the general rating. Guests of on-going open consultations on the freedom of expression and hate speech regularly held by the School of Peacemaking and Media Technology in Central Asia contributed to the rating. Their opinions were taken into account when assessing the basic level of the freedom of expression and cases of its restriction.

 

The freedom of expression is reviewed in the report in several aspects:

An opportunity to seek, obtain and distribute information regardless of boundaries, including on the internet;

The level of media pluralism, tolerance to a variety of manifestations of the freedom of expression;

Admissible criteria of the rhetoric of hate according to the local laws and contexts;

Available restrictions of the right of the freedom of expression.

 

 

 

 


[2] For more information, please see full report at the link)

[3]For more information, please see full report at the link

[5]For more information, please see full report at the link





INACTION IN INVESTIGATION OF I.SIKORSKAIA’S CASE TO BE APPEALED IN COURT

 18-03-2019, 00:16

School of Peacemaking and Media Technology in Central Asia hereby appeals to the authorities of the Kyrgyz Republic to expedite the issue of orders for expert examination and to conduct impartial investigation of a traffic accident that occurred on November 24, 2018 under strange circumstances, which resulted in injuries and brain concussion of programme director Inga Sikorskaia.

So far, the investigation has not issued order for two forensic psychiatric examinations on this traffic accident case.

 

On February 8, 2019, Zamir Zhooshev, lawyer of Precedent Partner Group, counsel for the plaintiff, requested the Bishkek GUVD [Chief Directorate of Internal Affairs] to carry out two forensic psychiatric examinations of the driver who committed the traffic accident and of the victim. Under the law, an order for or denial of examinations should have been issued after the request.

However, the counsel has not received any response from the investigator at the time of this press release.

The request for forensic psychiatric examination of the victim was made due to the fact that the Republican Centre for Forensic Examination of the Kyrgyz Republic "refused to determine the severity of the harm inflicted to health of I. Sikorskaia (as written in the report) and at the same time doubted the diagnosis made by a neurologist of a Bishkek-based MEDI clinic "Brain concussion”, which resulted in retrograde amnesia, after which I. Sikorskaia was treated for one and a half months.

Another diagnosis, "post-commotionsyndrome”, was made to the victim in the Republican Mental Health Centre, where she was prescribed a course of treatment and recommended an attenuated regimen for three months.

The victim, in her initial statement, requested for forensic psychiatric examination of the Namba taxi driver, who committed the traffic accident. The driver, according to her, "didn’t know the route, didn’t understand where to go, arbitrarily changed the route and didn’t take any measure to avoid the accident on a half-empty road.”

 

We are concerned with the sluggishness and uncertainty of the investigation.

 

We received the report of the Republican Centre for Forensic Examination of the Kyrgyz Republic on the health condition of I. Sikorskaia from the traffic accident investigator of GUVD of Bishkek, Police Lieutenant Colonel S. Booronbaev on January 25, 2019 despite the fact that medical examination of the victim was conducted on December 7, 2018.

 

On December 19, 2018, Harlem Désir, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, during his visit to Kyrgyzstan, raised the issue of a strange traffic accident with I. Sikorskaia at the meeting with the relevant committee members of Kyrgyz Parlament.

 

On December 9, 2018, the Coalition for Security Issues and Defence of Human Rights Defenders in Central Asia (Kazakhstan) requestedK.A. Dzhunushaliev, minister of interior affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic, to take all reasonable efforts to protect the rights of I. Sikorskaia and to assist in the impartial investigation of the traffic accident.

 

On December 6, 2018, Harlem Désir, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, during his meeting with Chingiz Aidarbekov, minister of foreign affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic, in Milan (Italy), pointed the need to expedite the investigation of this accident. In turn, the head of the ministry assured this case would be followed up.

 

Inga Sikorskaia is a prominent journalist, human rights defender, researcher and speaker on freedom of expression, combating hate speech, anti-discrimination and trainer on media freedom. She is a regular participant of UN, OSCE conferences on the freedom of speech, human rights, conflict-sensitive matters, an author of a range of articles and study guides. In March 2018, she was deniedentry to Turkmenistan, where she should have participated at the OSCE conference.

Since 2017, I. Sikoskaia has been under pressure for her professional activities. Kyrgyz authorities blacklisted Sikorskaia to control her movement abroad. From April 2017, she was closely checked at the border 19 times.Moreover, in June 2018, after such complicated check, her photo in international passport was damaged ripped off.

 

School of Peacemaking and Media Technology in Central Asia, where I. Sikorskaia is a programme director, promotes the freedom of speech, hate speech researches and examinations, implements training programmes on countering the propaganda of extremism through media, encouraging diversity, developing independent media sphere.

 






HARLEM DEZIR: STATE MUST MAKE INFORMATION ACCESSIBLE

 9-01-2019, 16:20
HARLEM DEZIR: STATE MUST MAKE INFORMATION ACCESSIBLE

Harlem Desir, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media visited Kyrgyzstan at the end of December 2018. His country visit dedicated  to the 1st Regional Conference of Representatives of the Judicial Branch of Central Asia. Its theme is ensuring freedom of speech and the media in the context of the fight against extremism and terrorism. It was attended by international experts. The issues of media freedom were discussed within the framework of designated measures to counter extremism in the Central Asian states.

In an interview with 24.kg news agency, Harlem Dezir told how the vague wordings in the laws affected journalists and why freedom of speech should not be limited.

— We understand the importance and the need to counter the incitement of ethnic hatred, the spread of various kinds of extremist materials. But at the same time, we also recall the importance of respecting freedom of speech and the media. For example, at the conference we discussed particularly problematic issues in the legislation. In some countries, the laws have rather vague notions of extremism and extremist materials.

 

— How does this affect journalists?

— There are precedents in the states of the region, when both individual journalists and news outlets in general were persecuted or closed on the basis of rather vague and imprecise definitions. And we discuss with the judges how to ensure work in this direction to be carried out in accordance with the commitments that the countries of Central Asia as OSCE members have assumed.

— What specifically do you recommend?

— We discuss the issue of the implementation of the international covenant on political and civil rights in general, in particular, part 2 of article 119. This section regulates the circumstances that relate to media freedom.

— Who else have you discussed these issues with?

— I met with the head of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court, deputies of the relevant committee of the Parliament. In addition, on the eve of my visit to Kyrgyzstan, in the framework of the meeting of Foreign Ministers of the OSCE states in Milan, I had a meeting with the new Foreign Affairs Minister, Chingiz Aidarbekov. We talked about the reforms being carried out in the Kyrgyz Republic and about the protection of the media.

— Are there any risks for Central Asian journalists due to imperfect legislation?

— Yes, there are. I shared a number of risks that my organization and I see. It’s about the interpretation of the legislation on the protection of the reputation of certain categories of officials.

— How do you assess the current level of freedom of speech in Kyrgyzstan? How has it changed over the past year?

— If you look at Kyrgyzstan, there have been many changes even for the last month. I hope that they will be aimed at ensuring the development of a democratic course and freedom of speech. I welcome the fact that a number of lawsuits filed on behalf of the president against journalists have been withdrawn. This case suggests that you need to learn from what happened, to evolve and change the legislation on the basis of these cases.

During the meetings with my Kyrgyz colleagues, I mentioned article 299 of the Criminal Code. It is obvious that there is a need for further joint work in this area. In addition, there are rules in the law that impose self-censorship on journalists. This position needs to be changed.

 

Restriction of media freedom is unworkable solution. Instead, it is necessary to give the media freedom for development to such a level when the public will trust them.

Harlem Desir
— What are other cases you draw attention of the authorities to?

 

— We are concerned about the strange traffic accident involving Inga Sikorskaya. We would like to have a full investigation of this case. We raised the issue with journalist Elnura Alkanova, who was accused of divulging bank secrecy. We welcome the fact that claims have been dropped.

We very much welcomed the fact that claims against 24.kg news agency and journalist Kabai Karabekov were withdrawn.

Harlem Desir

 

 

RELATED NEWSWe are following the situation with the deportation of journalist Chris Rickleton from the country. He is trying to enter Kyrgyzstan or get an exact answer why he is denied entry. In this case, the issue of non-disclosure of official secrets and access to information is quite relevant.

 

 

— Since we started talking about access to information, what about access to information of journalists from Central Asian countries?

— I will not compile a ranking. But there is a large number of countries with too many restrictions regarding the access of journalists to information. At the same time, we see an increasing number of complaints from the authorities that journalists, when covering topics of public interest, do it without a sufficient degree of credibility.

In this regard, we advise our colleagues from the branches of government to facilitate access to information, including to how government decisions are made. This will help ensure sufficient share of objectivity.

 

The state is obliged to make information accessible to both journalists and ordinary citizens.

Harlem Desir
This can be achieved with the help of Open Government, when the data on the work of the Cabinet of Ministers are publicly available. There is a large reserve for work in this sphere in most countries of the region.

 

 


 





INGA SIKORSKAIA INJURED IN STRANGE CAR ACCIDENT

 3-12-2018, 22:56

 

INGA SIKORSKAIA INJURED IN STRANGE CAR ACCIDENT Inga Sikorskaia, independent journalist, human rights activist, program director for School of Peacemaking and Media Technology in Central Asia injured in the strange car accident. 

 

School of Peacemaking and Media Technology in CA hereby expresses concern about the traffic accident that occurred on November 24, 2018 in Bishkek with I.Sikorskaia, who was hospitalized with head injuries at the Bishkek National Hospital.

Currently, she is undergoing outpatient treatment.

On November 24, 2018, a Namba Comfort taxi driver of Daewoo Ravon R3 with number plate 01 KG1274H, cab 7992, arrived at her call and had to take her from Kensuiskaya Street/ Intergelpo to K.Akiev/Toktogul Street. For unknown reason driver changed the route to a longer one, at the intersection of K. Akiev and Sydykov Streets rammed deliberately into a white car parked on the right-hand side of the road.

"I was sitting in the back seat on the right and when we turned to K. Akiev Street, I saw that our car was going straight to the car parked on the right-hand side of the road,” the victim said. "I was clearly going to ram into it. Although the taxi driver had a few seconds to swerve (since the left-hand side of the road was empty), he didn’t make any measure to avoid the accident and kept on driving and thus put my life at risk and the accident occurred.”

The taxi started rolling side over side and then immediately stopped. As a result, Inga Sikorskaia hit her head on the roof of the car a few times, hit the seat with her left shoulder and the door with her right hand. Then she fainted.

"When I woke up, some people were standing by me (they turned out to be passers-by), they were feeling my pulse and trying to bring me round, looking for ammonia in the driver’s first aid kit,” Sikorskaia said. "Two girls called an ambulance 103, and also dialled the first incoming number from my phone, which was lying under my feet, it was Interfax agency journalist Natalia Liubeznova and asked her to come urgently. Then I went faint again.”

According to Natalia Liubeznova, who arrived immediately to the place of accident, the taxi driver who was standing near the car said he didn’t "remember anything”.

The victim woke up when the ambulance arrived and took her to the emergency neurotrauma department of the National Hospital, where she was examined and administered treatment.

On November 26, 2018, the staff of the School of Peacemaking visited the police control room of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (GUOBDD), where they were told that a case was filed on this accident. The case was given to investigator Samudin and they gave a telephone number to the staff.

The staff have failed to meet the investigator at the time of publication.

Although the victim wrote a detailed statement with all the facts, we tried to hand it over to the investigator, called him on November 26, he said he was not there at the moment and we should come on November 27 from 8 to 17. The next day, after some medical treatment, Sikorskaia accompanied by her assistant, arrived at GUOBDD at 11.50 and called him out of the car, but the investigator rudely said,

"Listen, dear, am I a robot? Can’t I have my lunch? It’s lunch time now, come back at 2 p.m.”

When we said we could leave the statement in the police control room for him to take it later, the investigator said, "No one will accept it or hand it over to me. Don’t you understand that I am having a lunch?”

In this regard, on November 28, 2018, we sent the statement to the investigative department of GUOBDD of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic by registered mail hoping it would reach the addressee.

School of Peacemaking and Media Technology in CA hereby asks the investigative authorities to carry out a fair investigation of the accident, in which Inga Sikorskaia, journalist, human rights activist, a program director, media trainer, researcher known in Central Asia and other countries, was injured. Her activities are aimed at the promotion of the freedom of expression, investigative journalism, encouraging diversity, countering intolerance and discrimination in the media and on the internet, protection of minority rights. She is a media professional, she spent seven years as a senior editor for Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan at the Institute for War and Peace Reporting Central Asia.

Since 2017, I.Sikoskaia has been under pressure for her professional activities. Kyrgyz authorities blacklisted Sikorskaia to control her movement abroad. From April 2017, she was closely checked at the border 19 times. Moreover, in June, 2018, after such complicated check, her photo in international passport was damaged ripped off.

 

 






POLITICAL SPACE FOR CIVIL SOCIETY MUST BE OPEN

 19-11-2018, 20:57

POLITICAL SPACE FOR CIVIL SOCIETY MUST BE OPENThis is the statement by the participants of the laboratory "Political space for CSOs: democracy + human rights= sustainable development”.

The event was held on November 15, 2018 within the framework of the XII International Festival of Human Rights Documentary Films in Bishkek.

Participants were welcomed by Dimitris Christopoulos, president of the International Federation for Human Rights, FIDH (France), who arrived in Kyrgyzstan specifically at the festival, official meetings and interactions with the civil society.

Over 30 participants of the workshop were human rights activists, leaders of CSOs, experts, representatives of the Ministry of Justice of the Kyrgyz Republic, activists from Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Italy, France, Czech Republic who worked in the four groups: "Freedom of expression”, "Freedom of assembly”, "Freedom of association”, "Participation of women and migrant workers”. These working groups were created for a discussion of promotion of key liberties required to make political space function and to achieve Sustainable Development Goals. Experts delivered their reports on the situation of these freedoms amid current realities and civil society issues in Central Asia.

"The situation of the freedom of expression is similar in all the three countries – Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan,” Inga Sikorskaya, programme director of the School of Peacemaking and Media Technology in CA (Kyrgyzstan), said presenting her speech on "Freedom of expression in CA: challenges, trends, solutions”. "The main risks are broad interpretation of the laws on inciting hatred, confusion of this interpretation with extremism, which allows prosecuting independent activists, journalists, human rights defenders; growth of hate against socially disapproved groups in our countries, as well as the constantly high level of propaganda, which affects the shaping of public opinion and public discourse.”

For a few hours, working groups were discussing and developing recommendations and action plans. As a result, every team represented their packages of solutions.

Muattar Khaydarova, an expert from Tajikistan, speaking about the trends and risks in the sphere of freedom of association, announced the recommendations worked out by the group of participants specifying the need to improve the laws on financing NGOs from internal sources, emergency adoption of law on charitable organisations, stopping the use of tax law abuse as a leverage on the civil society in Tajikistan.

Gulshaiyr Abdirasulova, a representative of Kylym Shamy (Kyrgyzstan), introduced the audience to the peculiarities of legal proceedings related to the right to freedom of peaceful assembly. The working group with her participation suggested a series of steps to improve of this sphere. In particular, the group recommended developing and introducing a programme on the compliance with the freedom of peaceful assembly into training modules for judges, implementing the process of evaluation of judges and law-enforcement bodies regarding the human rights knowledge, shaping the practice of decision-making by the UN Human Rights Committee, an entity supervising the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in member states.

Aina Shormonbayeva, president of International Legal Initiative Public Foundation (Kazakhstan) presented recommendations of her group "Participation of women and migrant workers”.

"The governments and the parliament must respond to public interest and demands, which is the key principle of the open political space for CSOs”, Shormonbayeva said. Residents of villages Min Kush, Zhumgal district of Naryn oblast, Kyrgyzstan, arrived specifically to take part in this workshop because they live in an environmentally fragile area due to uranium mining implications, where people suffer from diseases and poverty. The activists recommended that the authorities should handle this situation as soon as possible. Particularly, they recommended developing a special mechanism of enforcement of the decision to relocate the residents of 23 houses in the village of Min Kush.

Ermek Baisalov,an editor of analytical portal CABAR.asia, emphasised the importance of interaction between the expert community and civil society organisations in Central Asia. The expert capacity is a serious basis for joint solution of issues, he emphasised.

The four working groups suggested their action plans to promote the stated freedoms that are needed by the countries to achieve Sustainable Development Goals. Some of suggestions were to obtain the decision of the Plenum of Supreme Court regarding the interpretation of articles related to the incitement of hatred and concerning the freedom of expression in media and on the internet, to adopt the anti-discrimination law of the Kyrgyz Republic in order to protect the rights and freedoms of diverse groups in the society, to adopt the law on charitable organisations, joint work to reduce unemployment and labour migration, to introduce 40 per cent quota for the representation of women in government, to introduce the practice of public hearing of public meeting law enforcement, to encourage the use of UN human rights monitoring mechanisms: use of specific UN procedures, individual appeals to the UN Human Rights Committee, appeals to special UN rapporteurs.

All the recommendations will be sent to the government, parliament, international organisations, media outlets.

The laboratory was organised by the School of Peacemaking and Media Technology in CA jointly with the human rights movement Bir Duino Kyrgyzstan and the representative office of theInstitute for War & Peace Reporting (IWPR) in CA.

A photo report of the laboratory is available on the official page of the XII International Festival of Human Rights Documentary Films on Facebook: http://catcut.net/JWhx


Alina Amilaeva, programme assistant of the School of Peacemaking and Media Technology, Kazakhstan.


The article was prepared by the School of Peacemaking and Media Technology in CA, an official media campaign partner to the XII International Festival.





STATEMENT FROM WOMEN’S LEARNING PARTNERSHIP (WLP)

 11-11-2018, 21:31
STATEMENT FROM WOMEN’S LEARNING PARTNERSHIP (WLP) 

Statement from Women’s Learning Partnership (WLP) for the 2018 International Festival of Documentary Films on Human Rights Hosted by Bir Duino See video here

 

STATEMENT FROM WOMEN’S LEARNING PARTNERSHIP (WLP)

How does equality start in the family?

 

Family relationships—the most intimate and fundamental of all human relationships-- are the foundation for power relations in our societies. Starting from birth, boys are told to be courageous, to take risks, and to be innovative; girls are told to focus their energies on matters within the home, to be submissive and not take up space, and to cede control of their decision-making power.

 

Discriminatory legislation and cultural practices reinforce this inequality. In the Global South, women face laws that determine their right to choose their partner, travel, hold a job, choose their place of residence, access their inheritance, or make decisions about their bodies and/or their children. In the Global North, they must contend with laws limiting reproductive rights, equal pay for equal work, maternity leave, and adequate childcare. Such legislation strips women of power within the family unit, limiting their opportunities and making them susceptible to violence and human rights violations.

 

The unequal status conferred upon women and girls within the confines of the family robs them of their agency, hindering their ability to reach their full potential in education, livelihood, and civic and political life. To create equality for women in all these spaces, we must begin with the family.

 

Why is this topic important and relevant in the world today?

 

WLP partners have been working to amend inequality in the family in their respective countries for years. They have led campaigns for change on issues most important to them, such as equal citizenship rights in Lebanon, honor crimes in Jordan, land rights in Morocco, and abortion rights in Brazil. By conducting research, raising awareness among the public and policymakers, and empowering women to be inclusive leaders, they have amplified the voices of women on the ground and identified grassroots priorities around family law reform.

 

Now, in our globalized society with increasing conflicts and various forms of social and economic crises, we believe more than ever in the necessity of an international movement to address inequality in the family and its repercussions in public spaces within societal institutions. Although the circumstances are specific to each cultural context, women and girls in all parts of the world face fundamentally similar challenges that stem from a lack of power, respect, and opportunity within the family unit. By leveraging the linkages among countries and building global solidarity, we can more effectively tackle these problems and transform our communities and societies.

 

What does the research say about inequality in the family in different countries?

WLP conducted extensive research on the topic of discriminatory family laws and feminist advocacy to reform them. Eight country case studies from Brazil, India, Iran, Lebanon, Nigeria, Palestine, Turkey, and Senegal examined diverse approaches to activism. Essays and expert interviews from women leaders in Jordan, Egypt, and Morocco provided additional contextual analyses and firsthand accounts of successful advocacy campaigns. Some of the main conclusions from WLP’s research effort include:

·Family laws, whether stemming from religious or secular justifications, are social and political constructs that can be changed.

·Because the reactions, obstacles, and outcomes to changes in family laws are unpredictable, it’s important for advocates to monitor and evaluate these developments.

·Advocacy campaigns should reflect the cultural, social, and political environments in which they are being conducted. They should adopt a multi-pronged approach: building coalitions, finding allies from different stakeholder groups, and influencing public opinion.

·Building coalitions among diverse women’s groups, as well as with other civil society groups, will provide greater legitimacy to women’s demands. These coalitions should seek allies within and outside the state in order to be most effective.

·By connecting with women’s organizations outside of their countries and engaging in transnational networking around common issues, women’s groups can shape an international policy environment friendly to family law reform. This in turn will likely influence national policy debates, putting pressure on national lawmakers to consider reform.

 

 

What is WLP’s strategy for change on the global level?

 

With their collective experience, WLP partners and their allies are initiating a campaign to pave the way for reform. The Equality Starts in the Family campaign will advocate for gender equality within and outside the home so that women and girls are afforded equal rights and opportunities in all walks of life.

 

The campaign is designed on the premise that any solution to gender discrimination has to address both legislation and cultural understandings for change to be implemented. As such, the campaign focuses on both reforming discriminatory family laws that are the foundation of the unequal status of women and girls in the family, and changing the culturally determined structures, roles, and beliefs that perpetuate gender discrimination.

 

Together with activists, scholars, policymakers, INGOs, grassroots organizations, and concerned individuals, WLP will produce and distribute tools for advocacy; conduct culturally-contextualized workshops on advocacy in this area; raise awareness among the public and policymakers on the ways in which discriminatory family laws perpetuate violence and inequality; and raise the visibility of the activists working to reform such laws.

 

 






TRAILER OF 12th INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS DOCUMENTARY FILMS FESTIVAL

 4-11-2018, 00:36

TRAILER OF 12th INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS DOCUMENTARY FILMS FESTIVALThe 12th International Festival of Human Rights Documentary Films "Bir Duino-Kyrgyzstan” to be held in Bishkek on November 12-16, 2018 will present twenty-four vivid and striking films that focus on the issues of the most vulnerable groups: women, children, migrants, unemployed, discriminated-against people and people with no access to fair justice, people living in environmentally hazardous regions and suffering from diseases and poverty. The topics is diverse, yet they are common in that they promote decent life for everyone for sustainable development, which efficiency is based on a new format of dialogues, partnership with the government and private business, as well as innovative approaches to the solution of vulnerable groups’ problems.

Watch the trailer of festival films!


The School of Peacemaking and Media Technology is the official media partner of the festival.

 





COUNTERING RADICALISATION VIA NEW MEDIA CULTURE

 31-10-2018, 23:18
COUNTERING RADICALISATION VIA NEW MEDIA CULTURE

 

This innovative approach was suggested by Inga Sikorskaia, director of School of Peacemaking and Media Technology on October 26 in Astana (Kazakhstan) at the conference "New challenges and approaches to regional and global security in Central Asia”.

 

Based on researches and proprietary developments of training programmes, the expert has emphasised that one of the methods of youth de-radicalisation can be education and raising awareness of the younger generation, teaching it the skills of information literacy, development of critical thinking and forming new media culture. This helps them better understand the legitimacy of extremist views and their narratives, be resistant to propaganda.

 

"When countering radicalisation, our young people must have skills of perceiving conflict-sensitive content and rules of responding to it, must be able to detect hate speech, which is a negative content, in information consumed, and illegal information, extremist propaganda and media xenophobia that leads to violence,” I.Sikorskaia said.

 

The new media culture is a special type of culture in the digital age, when disintermediation prevails, no boundaries between traditional and social media information exist, which has caused the new type of thinking that is characterised by information awareness, skills of its creation and distribution. These two aspects make us look at media culture at a new angle and use it as a tool of deradicalization.

The main five elements of the new media culture are: culture of information consumption, dissemination, perception, analysis and media creativity. Mastering the culture of information consumption is a key factor that shows how audience perceive distributed information, including radical narratives, his level of critical perception and level of trust to information received and its further use.

According to I.Sikorskaia, the culture of information consumption enables development of further skills of media creativity and easy orientation in the rich information environment. "A young user that has all of the above skills can independently deconstruct radical narratives in information that contains extremist propaganda, and can help his peers to do that,” she emphasised, "while good education and good competencies will help create conditions that will hinder the ideology of violent extremism, its distribution and improve resistance of students to radical narratives.”

 

It can be achieved via a content-based aspect of education, introduction of flexible modules and teaching techniques.

The expert has presented a package of recommendations, some of which are to separate training and retraining of teachers in the standards and techniques of using skills of information literacy and new media culture, inclusion of five elements of new media culture and information literacy into general syllabuses, providing access to media education to vulnerable groups exposed to recruitment, via flexible modules designed to motivate and involve young people in projects to be implemented in their communities and some others.

Since now ideology is used by recruiters via new media and internet, the knowledge of creation, receipt, distribution, critical analysis, verification of information and communications in the digital sphere must become mandatory.

The event was held with participation of some experts from Central Asian region, Afghanistan, Europe and the United States, scholars, representatives of the diplomatic corps with the support of the OSCE Programme Office.

 

 






THREE IMPORTANT THINGS IN THE FESTIVALS HISTORY

 29-10-2018, 12:34

THREE IMPORTANT THINGS IN THE FESTIVALS HISTORY Over 450 documentary films from different countries of the world have been demonstrated during 11 festivals held in Kyrgyzstan, including documentaries from Eastern European and Central Asian countries. All films have been designed to raise legal awareness and encourage directors that make films about acute social problems and human rights.

 

Tolekan Ismailova, leader of human rights movement Bir Duino Kyrgyzstan, founder of film festival, has made examples of past festivals that emphasised the importance of such events in Kyrgyzstan.

THREE IMPORTANT THINGS IN THE FESTIVALS HISTORY Photo of the 11th international festival of documentary films

Tolekan Ismailova:

It was the 2010 festival, when we witnessed the dependency of our government from foreign policy. They prohibited the screening of documentary "10 conditions of love” about the fate of the prominent human rights activist, head of the World Uighur Congress, Rabiya Kadyr. Ex-head of the presidential administration of the Kyrgyz Republic, Emil Kaptagaev, said that it was the intelligence agencies that prohibited the screening saying the embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Kyrgyz Republic was dissatisfied with it.

 

We appreciate the visits of our leading experts from various countries of the world, and we were especially impressed by the visit of Igor Blazhevich, ex-director of international festival of human rights documentary films "One World”, from Prague who came twice. He emphasised our festival was a folk festival! It involves active young people and leaders. We have the future! They are creative and free from stigma. Since the festivals topics always raise the most painful problems of vulnerable people, we are always aware of what happens in the world and we have a chance to prevent conflicts and focus on high principles and standards of human rights and liberties in terms of sustainable development.

 

THREE IMPORTANT THINGS IN THE FESTIVALS HISTORY And the third important thing is not only about watching and discussing films, but also about a wide platform for partnership and solidarity, sharing experiences, civic bridging. The key thing here is the development of the Kyrgyz language as all documentaries come with captions in different languages. This is a festival for everyone!

 

 





PLATFORM FOR CIVIL EDUCATION AND CITIZEN PARTICIPATION IN DECISION-MAKING

 28-10-2018, 12:37

 PLATFORM FOR CIVIL EDUCATION AND CITIZEN PARTICIPATION IN DECISION-MAKINGDuring the 12thinternational festival of human rights documentary films "Bir Duino Kyrgyzstan-2018”, innovative laboratories and master classes will be held on topical issues in the framework of Sustainable Development Goals consistent with a human rights-based approach. Current global challenges of political and religious fundamentalism, violent extremism and terrorism have become a threat to public security, obstacles to peaceful co-existence and barriers to sustainable development for many countries in the world.

The labs will be held in November 13 to 15, 2018 in Bishkek.

The participants of events will be working over the tools and recommendations on empowerment of children, labour rights, cases of torture in penal setting.

The Global Storm: Growing Fundamentalism and Threats to the Future laboratory will focus on the issues of equality and human dignity; human rights defenders will discuss the financial literacy issues and the impact of Kyrgyzstan’s foreign debt on sustainable development. Jointly with the Bishkek mayor’s office Agency for Development, a workshop "Cities to Cities: The Role of Citizens, Partnership for Development” will be organised; while the Forum of Women’s NGOs, together with other organisations, will discuss "How to become a master of your own country?” by applying global experience of sustainable development with a human rights-based approach.

Master class on innovations in documentary films will be held by leading documentary filmmakers from Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and the laboratory of the Coalition for Equality will focus on raising awareness about the principles of equality and non-discrimination.

The last day of the festival will be dedicated to the development of political space for civil society organisations. The School of Peacemaking and Media Technology, together with key partners, will hold this workshop based on the following principle: democracy + human rights + fair and open government and equal partnership = sustainable development.

"The format of labs this year differs from the previous year’s as they are focused on topical issues,” said Lira Asylbek, director of Alternative Centre. - Workshops give an opportunity to key experts, representatives of civil society, CSOs, and authorities to focus on key present-day challenges, to understand what and who impedes the implementation of human rights, what happens around, how to mitigate these threats, which countries have successful outcomes of positive changes, and how to build equal partnership with the government, business entities for positive changes.”

Sharing experience, opinions, joint work over social problems will help find best innovative approaches and solutions. IT will also play its unique role in this process.

The programme of laboratories is here LAB_2018_FINAL__eng.pdf [967,98 Kb] (cкачиваний: 1)

More Information about the human development configuration

People: Human development focuses on improving people’s lives, not just on the assumption that economic development automatically leads to social welfare for all. Growth of income is seen as a means for development, not the outcome.
Opportunities: Human development gives people more freedom to live an important life. In fact, it means to develop people’s skills and to enable them to use these skills. For example, training helps shape skills, but they will be useless if a person doesn’t have a job or their skills don’t fit the local labour market needs. Human development is based on three components: a person must live a long, healthy and creative life, must be well-informed and must have access to resources that ensure a decent life.

Right of choice: Human development is based on a wide choice. People are given opportunities; however, they don’t have to use them.

No one can guarantee happiness to a person; every person makes their own choice based on their own decision. The process of development – human development – must at least create an environment for people, individually and collectively, to enable the development of their potential in full and to create reasonable opportunities for them to live a productive and creative life.

 

The School of Peacemaking and Media Technology is official partner of Fest-2018 on media campaign.







  • Военные возле рынка запчастей в во время массовых беспорядков, г. Ош, июнь 2010 год

  • Участники тренинга по медиации и урегулированию конфликтов строят "Башню мира", Бишкек, апрель, 2011 год

  • Тренинг для журналистов по разрушению стереотипов, Бишкек, апрель, 2012 год

  • Семинар по производству командных репортажей в мультинациональных журналистких группах, Бишкек, август, 2012 год


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Участники узнают, как сделать рассылку полезной и интересной; как развивать бюллетень, чтобы он продолжал отвечать потребностям читателей; о советах и приемах, помогающих привлечь читателей к контенту; о творческих идеях, помогающих создавать хорошие рассылки, и о том, как искать интересный для читателей контент и как определять успешность бюллетеня.Курс ведет Крис Хиггинсон– автор и редакторThe Seattle Times’ Morning Brief.

Регистрация продолжается. Стоимость курса – 29,95 долл. США.

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Эксперты Школы миротворчества входят в группу авторов-разработчиков МЕТОДИЧЕСКОГО РУКОВОДСТВА по проведению  комплексной судебной психолого-лингвистической и религиоведческой экспертизы в Кыргызской Республике, которая была издана в марте 2017 года и станет одним из главных документов для Центра судебных экспертиз Минюста КР.

 

 

 

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