Asylum from Kyrgyzstan

I.S. Law Firm has secured asylum for a young Uyghur-Uzbek student who was systematically persecuted by the ethnic majority in Kyrgyzstan based on his ethnicity. We successfully demonstrated that our client had been attacked and threatened in his home country due to his ethnicity and thus qualified for asylum as a refugee. According to the official definition, a refugee is a person who, “owing to a well founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his/her nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself/herself of the protection of that country; or who not having a nationality and being outside the country of his/her former habitual residence…., is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.”

According to the 2009 U.S. Department of State Human Rights Report on Kyrgyzstan, the following human rights problems were reported that year: restrictions on citizens’ right to change their government; arbitrary killing, torture, and abuse by law enforcement officials; impunity; poor prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention; lack of judicial independence; pressure on nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and opposition leaders, including government harassment; pressure on independent media; government detention of assembly organizers; authorities’ failure to protect refugees adequately; pervasive corruption; discrimination against women, persons with disabilities, ethnic and religious minorities, and other persons based on sexual orientation or gender identity; child abuse; trafficking in persons; and child labor.

Specifically, I.S. Law Firm was able to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Asylum Office of Bureau of Citizenship & Immigration Services that our client was discriminated against and intimidated based on his ethnicity from a very young age, even prompting him to switch schools in hopes of finding a friendlier environment. Attorneys at I.S. Law Firm also showed that our client’s mother, an ethnic Uzbek, formally changed her nationality in the light of growing anti-Uzbek sentiment in the Kyrgyz society, after first conflict happened in 1990 in the south of Kyrgyzstan between Uzbek and Kyrgyz ethnic groups. Violence against ethnic minorities escalated in March 2005, after the First Kyrgyz Revolution, also known as Tulip Revolution, which was accompanied by mass disturbances and spread of looting in the capital. Our client’s mother had a store, which was also looted and destroyed, and the police was unable to find the perpetrators.

Following the Second Kyrgyz Revolution in April 2010, tensions between Kyrgyz and Uzbek ethnic groups increased, and violence erupted in the south of the country in June 2010. The killings of Uzbeks in the riots have been called “genocide” and “ethnic cleansing” by the UN and international media. The Uzbek minority was targeted by assailants of Kyrgyz ethnicity, as evidenced by survivors and field reports of the media. Approximately 100,000 Uzbeks and Tajiks – mainly women, elder people and children fleeing the violence – found refuge in Uzbekistan, and some 400,000 became internally displaced. Victims interviewed by media and aid workers testified to mass killing, gang rape and torture. Then-head of the Interim government Roza Otunbayeva later indicated that the death toll was approximately 2,000 people.

The ethnic violence by majority Kyrgyz population was not limited to Uzbeks only. Along with other ethnic minorities, the Kyrgyz nationalists targeted Uyghurs, an ethnic group our client also belongs to. Uyghurs are the fourth largest ethnic minority in Kyrgyzstan, after Russians, Uzbeks, and Dungans. The official estimates show that there are about 50,000 Uyghurs in Kyrgyzstan. Following the alleged separatist movement of Uyghurs in China, Uyghurs have been under careful government supervision in Kyrgyzstan, often labeled as terrorists.

During the time of the April 2010 unrest in the Kyrgyz capital, our client was attacked and beaten by Kyrgyz nationalists as he was walking home from the university he attended. As ethnic tensions escalated, he was beaten again in June 2010 because the attackers assumed he was an Uzbek. Attorneys at I.S. Law Firm showed that these beatings represented persecution based on ethnic hatred, as the attackers demanded that our client learn the Kyrgyz language, which he does not speak, even though Kyrgyz language is not the only official language in Kyrgyzstan. We also demonstrated that our client had a well-founded fear of persecution if he returned to his home country, since the attackers threatened to come back and beat him again, while the government was unable or unwilling to control the perpetrators, and the attacks were never fully investigated as the police dismissed our client’s criminal complaints. In October 2010, Ata-Jurt, a political party whose leader Kamchybek Tashiev had said that the Kyrgyz nation must be superior to all other nations in Kyrgyzstan, won the majority of seats in the Kyrgyz parliament, suggesting that the ultranationalist sentiments will further increase in Kyrgyzstan.

Thus, I.S. Law Firm successfully proved that our client possesses a well founded fear of persecution for the reason of his nationality in his home country from persons the government is unwilling or unable to control, and that he should be granted asylum in the United States based on the information and evidence we provided.

In order to obtain approval of our clients’ asylum petitions, attorneys at I.S. Law Firm gather subjective and objective evidence, country reports, complete the forms, write memorandums, thoroughly prepare the applicant for the questioning and stand by the applicant’s side supporting him/her throughout the entire process. We are proud of our success rates in asylum cases, both affirmative asylum cases through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and defensive asylum cases through the immigration courts.


If you think you may qualify for asylum, please contact us at +1-703-527-1779 or via e-mail: [email protected].

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Asylum from Kyrgyzstan