Kyrgyzstan Parliament Approves Russian Style Anti-“Propaganda” Bill
Washington, D.C. – In an alarming step, the human rights committee of the Kyrgyzstan parliament has approved a discriminatory anti-“propaganda” bill that closely emulates a Russian law that has drawn international criticism, including from the United States. Human Rights First notes the development, which brings the Kyrgyzstan bill one step closer to becoming law, is part of a dangerous trend of growing discrimination, persecution and State-sanctioned harassment of civil society and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community throughout the region.
“We are deeply disappointed that the human rights committee of the Kyrgyz parliament has supported such blatantly homophobic legislation that would violate human rights and add to an escalating culture of violence and discrimination against many Kyrgyz citizens,” said Human Rights First’s Shawn Gaylord. “We urge the Obama Administration to continue to demonstrate leadership on this issue by publicly condemning this legislation and pressing the Kyrgyzstan government to stop the passage of this and further discriminatory laws that would infringe on the human rights of LGBT people.”
Following yesterday’s approval of the bill by the human rights committee, the bill will proceed to parliament for a vote. If passed and signed into law, the bill would limit the speech, expression, and freedom of assembly of activists, civil society leaders, journalists, and members of LGBT community by criminalizing public expression and events that contain information about “non-traditional sexual relations.”
The Kyrgyz bill is just one example of the spread of homophobic laws and policies throughout Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Human Rights First continues to urge the U.S. government to press Russian officials to suspend its discriminatory anti-“propaganda” law, end the systematic persecution of civil society, and prevent the spread of Russian-style anti-“propaganda” laws in the surrounding region.