European Parliament urges Kyrgyzstan to drop anti-gay bill

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Kyrgyzstan has been urged by the European Parliament to drop an anti-gay bill.

The bill is similar to one introduced in Russia law last year, banning the “promotion of non-traditional sexual relationships”.

The Kyrgyz bill outlaws the dissemination of information “aimed at forming positive attitudes toward non-traditional sexual relations.”

Persons found guilty under this law face up to one year imprisonment.

The European Parliament – acknowledging general democratic progress in the country – calls on the Kyrgyz Parliament to reject the bill, and urges politicians to refrain from hate speech against LGBTI people.

The Parliament supports the recommendations by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe which highlight Kyrgyzstan should combat all forms of discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

A group of experts from the United Nations earlier this year urged the Kyrgyz Parliament to withdraw an anti-gay bill.

Ulrike Lunacek MEP, Co-President of the LGBTI Intergroup and co-author of the resolution, said: “If this bill is passed, anyone who speaks positively about LGBTI issues can be imprisoned. This is an attack on the freedom of expression, the freedom of assembly and the right to non-discrimination for the Kyrgyz people, in particular LGBTI people.

“If the Kyrgyz parliament is serious about its constitution which protects human and civil rights, it should reject this bill.”

Beatriz Becerra MEP, Member of the LGBTI Intergroup and co-author of the resolution, added: “In just one day, over 34 000 people have called on us to denounce this extreme anti-propaganda bill. This sends a strong signal to us, the Commission and the External Action Service to up the pressure on Kyrgyzstan to prevent this bill from turning into law.

“We have all seen the horrible consequences of the Russian anti-propaganda bill: a clampdown on NGOs, forbidden prides and organised hate crime against LGBTI people. We urge Kyrgyzstan to not to follow the path of state-sponsored homophobia, and unreservedly support and promote the fundamental rights of all its citizens.”

The bill passed the first reading on 15 October 2014, but needs an additional two readings and presidential approval before turning into law.