UNODC and the Kyrgyz Government Discuss Prospects for Countering Extremism in the Country

Prior to the Nelson Mandela Day, which is marked annually on July 18, UNODC and Ministry of Interior with support of Bureau of Counterterrorism of the US Department of State conducted a two-day roundtable discussion on Challenges and Prospects for Countering Extremism in Kyrgyz Republic.

Some 50 representatives of the government, justice practitioners, prison service workers, probation Department specialists, civil society and religion organizations, donors and think tanks discussed the challenges and perspective approaches and opportunities regarding extremism in the Kyrgyz Republic. State bodies provided information on measures taken and strategic documents aimed at countering extremism.

Mr. Tynar Kadyraliev, Head of Sector of the Committee on Law and Order, Combating Crime and Counteraction to Corruption of the Jogorku Kenesh of the Kyrgyz Republic, Mr. Ulan Berdibaev, Deputy Head of the department of the service for Countering Extremism and Illegal Migration of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic, and Mr. Andrey Seleznev, UNODC Program Office in the Kyrgyz Republic outlined the willingness to provide appropriate and effective monitoring, rehabilitation, and reintegration of offenders for extremism related crimes , in a manner grounded in international standards and norms.

“One of the main threats to the States of Central Asia is the accumulation of various illegal armed groups and international terrorist organizations in the northern provinces of Afghanistan, which are strengthening their positions and controlling the creation of new strongholds. In recent years, there have been many cases of the spread of the ideology of banned extremist and international terrorist organizations in the republic. Considering these threats and challenges, to protect human rights and freedoms, the foundations of the constitutional order, and ensure the security of the state, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, together with the relevant state bodies and members of the working group, developed a new draft Law of the Kyrgyz Republic "On countering extremist activity." At present, this draft law has undergone public discussion and has been submitted for consideration by the Jogorku Kenesh of the Kyrgyz Republic, including comments and proposals received”, said Mr. Ulan Berdibaev, Deputy Head of the department of the service for Countering Extremism and Illegal Migration of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic.

Roundtable participants discussed the achievements and challenges in monitoring, surveillance and reintegration of offenders for extremism and they were showcased ongoing social reintegration efforts and oversight activities in place to keep the community safe.

According to Mr. Andrey Seleznev, Head of the UNODC Programme Office in the Kyrgyz Republic: “Detention is often thought to be one of the most effective ways to ensure that society is protected from harm on the part of those it detained. Detention is not, however, a panacea against the risk of terrorism. It also has evident shortcomings in that it is generally only temporary and might, in fact, contribute to further radicalization. When proper rehabilitation and social reintegration programmes for prisoners in the course of imprisonment are not supplemented by post-release support services upon release, it can weaken the disengagement and deradicalization process made in prison. As a result, alternatives to detention have been sought for those convicted for terrorism or those suspected of involvement with terrorist organizations”.

Important to note that last year UNODC launched a technical assistance handbook on the appropriate use of non-custodial measures for terrorism-related offenses, which further operationalize norms outlined in The UN Guidelines for the Prevention of Crime, the Standard Minimum Rules for Non-Custodial Measures (known as Tokyo Rules) and supplement reintegration activities recommended under the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules).

In the second session, facilitated by the UNODC expert on Judicial and legal practice on the application of punishments for extremism participants reviewed current practice of judicial decisions on crimes and offenses related to extremism, as well as legal practice in accordance with the new criminal legislation.

Mr. Torben Adams, Criminal Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer, UNODC, said, when delivered a presentation of the UNODC guidelines on custodial and non-custodial sentences: “ Over time, however, the limitations of an all-prosecution and detention strategy have become apparent, including: a failure to address the root causes of terrorism; filling of prisons, including with individuals only remotely linked to terror organization; extensive use of resources of the state; financial cost of the all-detention strategy; the need for reconciliation in some of the countries concerned; and complicating the process of reintegration into society. Today we will talk about alternatives. These alternatives are coming in a variety of forms. They include means and mechanisms that are built into the existing judicial structure and those that function outside of it’

Traditionally, UNODC organized a group discussion. The event participants were divided into three groups where each members discussed and prepared possible aspects, points and recommendations for countering extremism. The topics varied from; "Interdepartmental and public cooperation to counter extremism: prevention in society and rehabilitation in places of deprivation of liberty", "Issues of rehabilitation, resocialization and reintegration into society of persons who have committed violent extremist and terrorist crimes. Work with former prisoners" and "Technical and professional potential of law enforcement and judicial authorities to prevent extremism".

The final session focused outlined how government agencies and related organizations can intensify their cooperation in the fight against violent extremism. And representative from each group presented their suggested recommendations.

The roundtable was a part of the UNODC 24 months long project “Post-Release Monitoring and Probation of Returning Foreign Terrorist Fighters and Violent Extremist Prisoners” funded by the Bureau of Counterterrorism, US Department of State aimed at developing and institutionalizing an architecture for the prevention of terrorist radicalization and recruitment and strengthen their efforts to combat terrorist ideology.




For all inquiries, kindly contact Vasilina Brazhko

Communication and PR Specialist at

UNODC Criminal Justice and PVE Programmes in Central Asia

UNODC PO in the Kyrgyz Republic

+996775987817 WhatsApp

vasilina.brazhko [at]