In just 5 days in June, 2010, more than 400 ethnically Uzbek and Kyrgyz people died in a spontaneous erruption of violence that saw neighbors attacking one another, houses and shops burned to the ground. The subsequent efforts to establish the chain of events, assign guilt, and compensate victims, has been criticized by skeptics on all sides. How is Osh moving on, with little forgiveness and so much suspicion? I share the perspective of a human rights legal expert.
I am the Coordinator of the Human Rights Program at American University of Central Asia in Bishkek, and an Assistant Professor of Law. Our program endeavors to build local knowledge and capacity in the defense of human rights principles as a foundation of free society.
Human rights law as a practice is the attempt to codify our instincts-- that human beings have dignity and value. It is in reality a messy and often conflicting system of standards. It's an attempt to make local practice out of high-level concepts. And it's not a perfect science.