Kyrgyzstan: criminalisation, cancellation of his citizenship and deportation of HRD Bolot Temirov (joint communication)

The following is based on a communication written by the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders to the Government of Kyrgyzstan on 19 December 2022. The communication remained confidential for 60 days before being made public, giving the Government time to reply. Regrettably, the Government did not reply within this time frame. If a reply is received it will be posted on the UN Special Procedures communications database.

This is a shorter version of the original communication.

Read the full communication


Topic: alleged criminalisation of Bolot Temirov, cancellation of his citizenship, and deportation from the Kyrgyz Republic following his journalistic reporting on allegations of corruption.

Mr. Bolot Temirov is a human rights defender, investigative journalist and the founder of Temirov Live, a YouTube channel through which he reports on alleged cases of state corruption.


On 18 April 2022, Temirov Live published a new journalistic investigation into allegations of high-level corruption involving government tenders. On 19 April 2022, Mr. Bolot Temirov was informed that new criminal cases were opened against him alleging document forgery and illegal border-crossing, in addition to the drug-related charges initiated against him earlier this year immediately after another anti-corruption investigation.

Furthermore, on 20 April 2022, the investigator of the Investigative Service of the Bishkek City Department of Internal Affairs allegedly issued a decree which annulled Mr. Temirov’s Kyrgyzstani ID card for domestic use and passport for international travel as invalid, thus de facto revoking his citizenship. Mr. Temirov reportedly became aware of this decree only on 17 May 2022.

On 25 April 2022, criminal charges were pressed against Mr. Bolot Temirov. He was accused of two counts of document forgery (Article 379 Paragraphs 1-3 of the Criminal Code), one count of continuous illegal crossing of Kyrgyzstan’s state border (Article 20 and Article 378 Paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code), and one count of drug possession (Article 283 Paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code). According to the prosecution, Mr. Temirov had allegedly forged his military service book and used it to unlawfully obtain the citizenship and the passport of the Kyrgyz Republic. He then allegedly used the passport to cross the border several times.

On 28 September 2022, the Sverdlovsk District Court of Bishkek acquitted Mr. Bolot Temirov on charges of drug possession and illegal border crossing. The human rights defender was found guilty of document forgery. However, due to the expiration of the statute of limitations on this crime, Mr. Bolot Temirov did not receive any punishment. Both sides appealed the verdict.

On 23 November 2022, the Bishkek City Court reviewed the verdict on appeal. It fully upheld the lower court’s decision and did not revisit the issue of statute of limitations. However, the court ruled that Mr. Temirov had to be expelled from the Kyrgyz Republic as a criminal punishment because, based on the alleged forgery of documents, he was not a citizen of the Kyrgyz Republic. As Mr. Temirov had Russian citizenship, the court ruled that he had to be deported to Russia. He is reportedly banned from reentering Kyrgyzstan for five years due to allegedly committing a crime.

Mr. Bolot Temirov was detained in the courtroom and deported the same day to Moscow without any documents or personal belongings. Between his detention and deportation, his whereabouts reportedly remained unknown to his lawyers and family.


In the communication, we express concern as to the reported criminalisation of Mr. Bolot Temirov, cancellation of his citizenship, and his deportation from the Kyrgyz Republic, which appear to be directly linked to his legitimate human rights work against corruption and the exercise of the freedom of expression, with the apparent objective to prevent him from continuing his work in the Kyrgyz Republic.


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