BISHKEK. The Association of Non-Commercial and Non-Governmental Organizations is initiating some steps to protect penitentiary inmates. Toktaim Umetalieva, leader of the Association, told RFE/RL today that the association appealed to the Justice Ministry to register a new body, the Public Council For the Protection of Rights of Penitentiary Inmates. Also, the association will appeal to Kyrgyz parliament to adopt a special law on protecting the rights of inmates and to cut the clauses that demand imprisonment as a method of bringing to justice.
There are about 12,000 inmates in Kyrgyzstan's jails (almost the same figure as the number of soldiers in the country). There are 12 teenage girls out of 600 female inmates in jail in the village Stepnoie. About 176 inmates were registered as HIV positive.