Human rights defender
Inga is a journalist and human rights defender from Kyrgyzstan. She works as the Program Director for the School of Peacemaking and Media Technology in Central Asia. The organisation has a focus on media monitoring of hatred and xenophobia, research on freedom of expression, countering hate speech in the media and on the internet. Moreover, they focus on countering propaganda of violent extremism, encouraging diversity and training on media issues. The organisation Inga works for is the only organisation in Central Asia that implements projects on the topics of xenophobia, extremism and hate speech, since these topics are considered as sensitive. Moreover, Inga initiated the constant media monitoring for hate speech, which until then was not in Kyrgyzstan and adopted research methodology based on international experience. Inga responds to human rights violations via statements. She also writes analytical articles, conducts workshop for journalist and HRDs and works on awareness campaigns in Central Asia. Before Inga started working for the School of Peacemaking and Media Technology in Central Asia she has worked for the Institute for War & Peace Reporting as a Senior Editor.
Human rights violations in Kyrgyzstan
In the last years, the Kyrgyz government has started counterterrorism crackdowns following deadly attacks abroad that investigators link to extremist of Central Asian origin . Since 2010, at least 358 have been convicted in the country for possessing videos, literature, and other material alleged to fall under a broad and vague definition, many in cases where prosecutors presented no evidence that suspects intended to incite violence or distribute the material . Prosecutions for possessing extremist material in Kyrgyzstan are carried out under the problematic article 299-2 of the Criminal Code, the country’s most widely applied charge against terrorism and extremism suspects .
Threats and harassment
Ever since 2007, Inga has been facing frequent threats. She has received threatening text messages and was blacklisted by the authorities. Furthermore, border guards tore up a page of her passport and always ask her about the goals of her trips. She was also detained at the border and has been interrogated many times. In November 2018, Inga became the victim of a suspicious car accident which has been labelled as an attack on her life because of her human rights work.