BISHKEK, 15 June 2012 - The OSCE Centre in Bishkek, Kyrgyz authorities and civil society organizations signed a multilateral Memorandum of Understanding today in Bishkek aimed at increasing co-operation in monitoring places of detention.
The aim of the Memorandum, which was signed by the Ombudsman’s Office, the Prosecutor General’s Office, the Interior Ministry, the state penitentiary service, the Justice Ministry, the Health Ministry, and 14 key international and local civil society organizations is to boost co-operation between state bodies, human rights organizations and international community in torture prevention, especially through the facilitation of unannounced visits to places of detention around the country.
The Memorandum, which Tursunbek Akun, the Ombudsman of Kyrgyzstan called “a really efficient and prompt step against torture,” is based on the successful experience of the last year’s OSCE-facilitated trilateral Memorandum between the civil society organizations and the Ombudsman in the same area.
“The new document lays the ground for more concerted work towards increased human rights protection in places of detention, a concrete national mechanism for daily co-operation in the prevention of torture,” said Anders Troedsson, the Acting Head of the OSCE Centre in Bishkek. “The OSCE Centre in Bishkek stands ready to support all the signatory parties in the implementation of this Memorandum, as well as to provide a regular platform for dialogue among them.”
Lyudmila Usmanova, the Deputy Prosecutor General, added: “The Memorandum represents a new model of co-operation between governmental structures, NGOs and international organizations. We are confident it will bring positive results and we stand ready to co-operate with all stakeholders to fulfil its provisions.”
Aziza Abdirasulova, the Director of the NGO Kylym Shamy said: "The fact that various governmental structures joined this initiative is a very important sign for civil society organizations across Kyrgyzstan. We look forward to increased co-operation in this field."
The Memorandum will remain in force until the end of 2012 with the possibility on being extended next year.