Monday, May 27, 2019

79 Percent of Kyrgyz Counter-Terrorism Laws and 56 Percent of Tajik Ones Copied from Russian Legislation

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 27 – The continuing impact of Moscow on the post-Soviet states is widely recognized, but cases where figures indicating this are so clear and stark are seldom more stark than in the case of legislation on how the governments of some of those countries should conduct counter-terrorist operations.

            According to American investigator Eduard Lemon, 79 percent of the laws Kyrgyzstan has adopted in this area are copied word for word from Russian ones, and 56 percent of those Tajikistan has adopted are the same, while figures for the neighboring Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are only four to five percent copied form Russian “originals.”

            Lemon, who has been a scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center, recently posted these figures on his Twitter account where they have attracted enormous attention in Central Asia (

            On the one hand, there is obviously nothing wrong with legislatures in one country copying language from laws adopted in others, especially when the latter have more resources to develop such legislation. But on the other, the differences between Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, on the one hand, and Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, on the other, highlight something disturbing.

            Clearly, just as in Soviet times when they were union republics, some of the post-Soviet states still feel inclined to follow Moscow’s lead in all things while others are committed to charting their own course including in the language of laws on critical issues, none more so that counter-terrorism. 

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