Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Human Rights Debate Contrasts East and West

When former Soviet diplomat Ishenbay Abdurazakov addressed students in the Kyrgyz capital, talk turned to the issue of whether western human rights values apply in this Central Asian state.
Nurlan Abdaliev reported from an IWPR event at the Kyrgyz-Russian Slavonic University, where Abdurazakov recalled the difficult birth in the early 1970s of the Committee – later Organisation – for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the first regional grouping involving both western and communist states.

After Abdurazakov noted the different historical perspectives on human rights issues in eastern and western countries, students were divided on whether the same fundamental rights should apply in Kyrgyzstan as in the West, or whether there were more pressing concerns.