Target: President Almazbek Atambayev
Goal: Don’t limit the rights of LGBT people in Kyrgyzstan
The government of Kyrgyzstan must do everything in its power to withdraw a proposed bill that would severely limit the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. The law will infringe upon freedom of expression, association, and assembly – all rights guaranteed by international law that the government of Kyrgyzstan has signed onto. The bill proposed to parliament would make it a criminal act to spread information about LGBT issues. It is strikingly similar to a bill passed by the Russian government in 2013. The government of Kyrgyzstan is currently applying for a “Partnership for Democracy” with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. The Council should make it clear that a partnership is totally contingent on whether the bill is passed or not.
The proposed bill would amend the Criminal Code to make it illegal to speak or act in a way that creates “a positive attitude toward nontraditional sexual orientation.” Language in the bill defines “nontraditional sexual orientation” as “sodomy, lesbianism, and other forms of non-traditional sexual behavior.” The sponsors of the bill defend it by saying it is necessary to protect the ‘traditional family’. People who are found guilty under the new law would face up to six months in jail and fine up to $100. Repeat ‘offenders’ would be subject to longer jail time and higher fines.
In the weeks since the bill was proposed, prominent LGBT activists in Kyrgyzstan have received numerous threats on social media including death threats. A nationalist party in the country has been holding protests and rallies against what they see as ‘propaganda of homosexuality’. Local politicians have also not been timid in their support of the bill. The government of Kyrgyzstan has international obligations to protect the rights of all of its citizens, including those members of the LGBT community. Sign this petition and demand the immediate repeal of the new law.
Dear President Almazbek Atambayev,
A recent bill proposed to the Kyrgyzstan parliament is a direct violation of the human rights of the LGBT community in your country. This bill also goes against the principles and laws that make up the members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. I would hope that your admittance to the Council of Europe would be stalled if your government does nothing to protect the LGBT community from severe human rights violations, as well as severe physical abuse.
Your government is a party to numerous international treaties that are aimed at protecting the freedom of speech, assembly and association. This new bill will destroy those rights for a large portion of your society, and set your country back in the eyes of the international community. I ask that you honor your commitments to international laws and strike down this bill before too much harm is done against the people of Kyrgyzstan.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Fry1989 via Wikimedia Commons