Central Asian countries called upon to prioritise human rights


NEW YORK -- New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) in a Thursday (January 17) statement urged Central Asian leaders to prioritise human rights as part of their efforts toward greater regional co-operation and international investment.

"To improve the lives of Central Asia's 105 million residents, human rights improvements need to go hand in hand with economic growth and regional cooperation," said Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director at HRW, in a statement announcing the publication of the organisation's annual review of human rights practices around the globe.

Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev "initiated greater cross-border co-operation and took notable steps to improve the domestic human rights situation" last year, said HRW.

At the same time, "blatant attacks on media and speech freedoms became less frequent" in Kyrgyzstan under President Sooronbay Jeenbekov, it added.

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Guess what, upholding human rights is not nearly a priority for people...