Help to Stop the Criminalizing Laws against Gays in Uzbekistan

Join in and help decriminalize LGBTQI people in Uzbekistan

Although the Uzbekistani Constitution guarantees privacy, equality and non-discrimination, Uzbekistan is one of the only two Central Asian countries that retain legislation criminalising private, consensual same-sex conduct between men. Article 120 of the Criminal Code in force stipulates that “bezakalbazlyk” (sodomy), voluntary sexual intercourse between two male individuals, is punishable by one to three years of restricted liberty, or by up to three years of imprisonment. Due to the widespread failure to understand the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity by state and non-state actors in Uzbekistan, this law negatively impacts all of the LGBT community.

As a consequence of criminalising same-sex conduct between men, LGBT people are routinely subjected to arbitrary arrests, ill-treatment, persecution and surveillance by state and non-state actors. It should be noted that non-state actors feel emboldened to attack LGBT people merely due to the existence of Article 120, knowing that the victims will not seek state protection out of fear of being persecuted for their sexual orientation.

Due to the Article 120 in the Criminal Code, and widely practiced bans on associations and peaceful demonstrations, as well as public stigmatisation of LGBT people, activists cannot apply for and register civil society organisations advocating for human rights of LGBT people in Uzbekistan

Since 2016, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has launched many legal reforms and Uzbekistan is now discussing and undertaking reforms to its criminal justice system. However, the draft of the new Criminal Code does not remove the provision criminalising consensual same-sex conduct between men:  it is moved from Article 120 to Article 154 without changing its substance. Worryingly, this provision was moved to the newly created Chapter V of the Code entitled: “Crimes against family, children and morality”. No explanations were given by the General Prosector’s Office in the explanatory note to the draft.

The amendment comes at a time when Uzbekistan is a current member of the UN Human Rights Council, which means a unique opportunity for us to recall on Uzbekistan to decriminalise same-sex conduct.

Help spread the word about the Criminal Code review in Uzbekistan and this opportunity to repeal the Article 154, by asking your members to post online with the hashtag #Repeal154, whether on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram! 

You can also show solidarity with the Uzbek LGBT community!

Here is a draft text you can post on social media:

I call on the President and government of Uzbekistan, member of the UN Human Rights Council, to  #Repeal154 to decriminalise same-sex conduct between men under the ongoing review of the Criminal Code.”
Click here to tweet.

It is expected that the Uzbek President will sign the final Criminal Code into a law by 1 April. We need to make sure that our voice is heard by then.   This particular issue in Uzbekistan is exemplary for many other countries. And together we can globally help LGBT communities take a strong stand for their rights.

Thank you for taking part! In solidarity, DO THIS: !!

You can tag ILGA-Europe on your messages:

You can tag also:

  • UN HRC
    Twitter @UN @UN_HRC
    Instagram @unitednations @unitednationshumanrights @humanrightscouncil
  • USA:
    In addition to the above, I encourage Americans to tweet U.S. State Department, President Joe Biden and Vice President kamal Harris as well as your own Congress-member and Senator and US Embassy in Uzbekistan .

    @VP @POTUS @StateDept @usembtashkent @MelanieNathan1

By Melanie Nathan

African Human Rights Coalition
Executive Director
Blog: Oblogdee.Blog
pronouns: she / her / hers

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