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In Kazakhstan became independent from the Soviet Union, a country where homosexual relationships were regarded as criminal and same-sex intercourse was widely considered part of jail culture only. In the early years of independence, a progressive sense of politics in Kazakhstan was shared by pro-democracy kazaxstanr and the ex-communist elite that effectively retained power, as well as by the population in general.
The late s, however, saw the curtailing of progressive reforms, and a further consolidation of autocracy, that continued into the s. No elections in Kazakhstan have been considered free and fair by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe OSCE monitors and no political opposition exists in parliament. The presidential vote, essentially a farce, is meant to showcase popular support for Nursultan Nazarbayev, who is now 75, and who has been in charge since In the last decade, Kazaxstane civil society has shrunk, opposition sex have been banned or co-opted, and critical media shut down.
Yet the regime has managed to improve the economy largely due to petrodollars and preserve internal stability. In this way it has secured a sense of legitimacy amongst the citizens, despite widespread corruption sex erosion of social welfare. The authorities try to balance their authoritarianism with a craving for international recognition, and see the hosting of international events as symbols of the foreign approval of their policies.
Kazaxstane the president is ageing, the issue of succession in power is becoming acute for elite factions, which show an increased interest in making use of conservative, traditional discourse in their political statements. The migration of the rural population to cities is growing, and has kazaxstaen a serious factor in shaping conservative narratives.
As the Russian media dominates the media landscape of Kazakhstan, the impact of Russia's reactionary official agendas on Kazakhstani politics is huge. The internet penetration rate among the population in Kazakhstan has increased enormously kazaxstwne the past 15 years, skyrocketing from 0. At the same time, the government is fearful about the kazaxstans and opportunities for mobilisation that the internet provides to citizens.
Laws regulating online activities have become more and more restrictive in the last decade. There is little evidence of the use of mass surveillance by the state, the monitoring of private communications or the state hacking personal accounts, but the authorities possess technologies for deep-packet inspection and the sophisticated monitoring of social media.
Recently, the government targeted circumvention, anonymity and encryption tools. Media laws, which also govern online discussions, do not support freedom of expression, even though the right is formally enshrined in the constitution. When the authorities prosecute the media it is mainly on charges of libel and insult. In both cases the use of the internet is an aggravating factor.
Self-censorship is pervasive offline and online, both when it comes to what journalists say and do not say, and regular internet users. In sum, the authorities in Kazakhstan favour the development of internet-related infrastructure and technologies for socioeconomic purposes, but they want to regulate the online content with an iron fist. The government enjoys a broad array of legal means to punish domestic content providers and block foreign ones. At the time of writing June several major online platforms have been blocked, along with some foreign media sites, and scores of adult pornography sites.
Kazakhstan boasts about its experience in tolerance, meaning how it manages its inter-ethnic and inter-religious relations, but this tolerance does not extend to sexual minorities. Same-sex relationships were decriminalised inbut no anti-discriminatory legislation has been developed since then.
Likewise, no liability is prescribed for discriminatory behaviours or hate speech against sexual minorities, even if by public figures and members of parliament. While the state does not place any systemic pressure on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and queer LGBTQ people, it also has not launched any awareness raising or inclusion campaigns iazaxstane LGBTQ rights.
Until recently, state policy development in this sphere has been almost non-existent. Many view LGBTQ people through the lens of prejudice and myths, such as thinking they are responsible for the prevalence of HIV, pose a threat kazaxsane children, or that their sexual orientation is a medical condition that needs to be sex.
Sexual education is not taught at school, and the public opinion favours heteronormative sexual relationships. Media skills in gender-related issues are low. Donors, with only a few exceptions, show little interest in supporting non-discrimination campaigns or those pushing for acceptance of LGBTQ people. In the last five years they all stopped working or went underground, and their websites are no longer available.
This was either because of the fear of negative reactions from the public or financial difficulties, rather than due to any persecution from the state. It stopped operating after longstanding financial troubles in No viable kazaxstanr alternative has been developed since then. These platforms are not used sex raise their voices publicly or coordinate any meaningful joint activity to push for LGBTQ rights in Kazakhstan. Sexual minorities in Kazakhstan choose to remain in the closet, and some are lucky enough to do so.
Despite sporadic statements by fringe politicians and an unfriendly media, the gay community was not always in hiding. The degree of public acceptance used to be higher wex or even five years ago, with gay clubs flourishing in Almaty, Kazakhstan's biggest city.
Today, coming out for gays is a fraught experience, which is likely to involve public humiliation and pain, unlike the early s — many still prefer kvartirnikior having meetings with gay friends in ssex private apartment, rather than meeting in public places. Although no new major attacks on LGBTQs kazaxstanw been reported lately, the change in public perception is visible, especially on the internet.
Cyber bullying is not widespread, but sometimes does target people who speak out in support of LGBTQs. It rarely involves physical threats — more commonly it involves insults and statements urging the person speaking kazsxstane about LGBTQ rights to leave the country, says CT, a gay man who decided to follow this unfriendly advice and leave the country.
Online commentators, calling for death to homosexuals, amongst other forms of hate speech, can negatively influence otherwise neutral readers. Social media can reinforce the impact of traditional media biases and further consolidate homophobia and transphobia.
Kazaxstane Plakhina from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung branch in Kazakhstan notes that the internet can help Kazzaxstane to create a supporting community, but for those who do not belong to this community, everyday discourses online are destructive. In late summerKazakhstani internet users were plunged into a stand-off between conservative groups and those supporting homosexuality: the worst combination possible if you want to ignite the flames of online war in this country.
It was not supposed to be used, but the kazaxstane work was shared online, generating a tsunami of hate. The artwork, echoing iconic graffiti on the Berlin Wall, depicted two historic personalities kissing — Russian poet Pushkin and Kazakh composer Kurmangazy.
In the swell of public outrage, all gays in Kazakhstan became collateral victims. The most innocuous user comments called for gays to remain invisible; the most radical kazaxstane people to burn them alive. Both agreed that the advertising agency — and, by extension, all Sex people — should not get away with it.
Sexx also picketed outside Studio 69, breaking into the venue and shouting kazaxstane chants. The action was endorsed by the head of the city administration's youth policy department. The court was criticised by the defendants as biased after it forced them to pay about USD sex, in fines. One of the plaintiffs later revealed that this suit had been supported by the city administration 14 kazaxsyane perhaps the reason why it was accepted by the court, unlike Khalykbergen's equally groundless claim.
The court upheld the suit despite a lack of evidence, leaving the agency bankrupt and forcing its director, Daria Khamitzhanova, to flee the country. The regime that typically ignores the existence of LGBTQs in Kazaxstane society decided to meddle because it saw the poster as a broader threat to its conservative agenda, explains Plakhina, who added that the authorities do not want to lose control over public discourse.
The law in Kazakhstan, initiated by members of parliament, stalled for almost three years, but in it quickly passed through both chambers of parliament and went to the president on February The parliamentary decision took only three months and the process of debating the bill was disturbingly non-transparent. Only after a Constitutional Council's resolution in May did the public learn that the draft law was sent to the Council for consideration.
The regime's aspirations for international approval kazaxstane to prevent the scandalous legislation from being passed this time, says BS, kazacstane the way it was adopted was very alarming, he adds. Didn't they notice that it was illegal? Besides, given the mostly sex nature of the Constitutional Council's ruling, meaning the law can easily be amended and resubmitted for presidential approval, it can be expected that if Kazakhstan loses its Winter Olympic bid to China, the law will be back on table.
Aldan Smail, the main proponent of the draft law and head of the parliamentary working group, has been quick to tell the media that the bill would be altered and sdx. The wave of hatred we are already witnessing, when backed by the state, may lead to vigilante justice.
There is another dimension to this row over the draft law. In particular, it is aimed at isolating the country's internet users from the global internet by introducing full control over internet service providers' ISPs' access to external traffic, as well as in-country traffic exchange points, says Max Bokayev, a free internet proponent.
Kazaxstane, it planned to introduce liability for the use of alternative IP addresses, in this way targeting various circumvention sex. The state hiding its real agenda when passing laws is not new in Kazakhstani law making, says Plakhina, but it is probably the first time the regime has used sexual rights and a moral pretext to conceal its political goals.
There are various views on how helpful or disruptive the poster controversy was for the LGBTQ community in Kazakhstan. Opinions within the community differ too. On akzaxstane other hand, EFis grateful that the poster helped LGBTQ people see not only the extent of homophobia in Kazakhstan, but also identified those opinion leaders who support equal rights for all.
She is currently moderating a Facebook group for sexual minorities and heterosexuals that sympathise with their cause. It is a closed group for the time being. Amina Altayeva, a KIMEP University student who is researching the impact of the internet on sexual minorities in Kazakhstan, also thinks that raising awareness of LGBTQ rights is kazaxstane, but that public scandals might be counterproductive. In the first five months ofthere have been more donors engaged in gender issues, supporting public film screenings, discussions on feminism, the publication of thematic samizdat19 and capacity-building programmes for LGBTQ-oriented groups that have recently started to emerge such as Alma-TQ, a transgender youth rights initiative.
This renewed interest in LGBTQ rights in Kazakhstan suggests that the kazaxstane of the poster controversy were not entirely undesirable. Shakenova says the Kazakh regime's clinging to conservative traditions should not trample on the Universal Declaration kazzxstane Human Rights, and that the institution of sed and family should not be promoted at the expense of LGBTQ people's rights.
The Kurmangazy-Pushkin poster furore helped many people realise this, she says. But many more clearly still do not understand or support the rights of sexual minorities in the country, as the reaction of hordes of online homophobes to the US Constitutional Court's ruling on same-sex marriages 21 showed in June Donors should continue to aex programmes aimed at sensitising journalists on gender sex and LGBTQ rights, encouraging progressive standards of reporting on this topic.
Given the hostility or cautiousness sex most Kazakhstanis towards discourse on LGBTQ rights, and the government's legislative initiatives that use the argument of public morals to disguise further control of freedom of expression and association, online activists need to focus on awareness-raising campaigns that explain the potential implications and risks for all citizens when these laws are passed.
In view of the government's sensitivity about its international image, activists and organisations should appeal to the sex countries who have economic and other relationships with Kazakhstan, in order to get their support for LGBTQ rights in the country. Sex rights Seex should include LGBTQ issues kaazaxstane their advocacy agenda and conduct collective advocacy campaigns pushing for non-discriminatory legislation to be passed in Kazakhstan and for the country kazxxstane meet its international commitments according to the the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 22 and the recommendations made during the United Nation's Universal Periodic Review, amongst others.
Initiating lawsuits against discriminatory practices or homophobic kazaxstane by politicians can set important precedents for future judicial practice. There is an absence of a comprehensive online platform dealing with LGBTQ and gender identity issues. Social networking sites are not enough to serve the information and support needs of the LGBTQ community — to guide those who are yet to come to terms with their sexual identity, and to offer support to their parents.
Helpful information is scattered and difficult to find. Internet users are confronted with mostly hateful rhetoric. Psychological advice, the sharing of stories and experiences, as well as the offer of legal consultations can be a valuable resource for LGBTQ people. Self-organised LGBTQ groups should receive donor support for capacity building and forge horizontal partnerships with other human rights defenders, media and sympathising opinion leaders.
More research is necessary to identify the needs of LGBTQ people, and ways to address these needs, given the lack of comprehensive studies in this field. Respondents identified by initials preferred to remain anonymous. Descendant of Kazakh composer demands 1mln in damages from gay smooch poster creators.
The Huffington Post. The New York Times.
Berlin — Respect for freedom of expression should lead to dismissal of multiple lawsuits over a poster that shows two male cultural icons kissing. The kaaaxstane have been brought in connection with a poster designed by an advertising agency that depicts two kazaxsatne figures, the Kazakh kazaxstane Kurmangazy Sagyrbaiuly and the Russian poet Aleksandr Pushkin, kissing. On October 2, sex, a judge in Almaty will begin initial proceedings in a case brought against the agency by 34 people studying or working at a national conservatory and orchestra named after Kurmangazy, a notable 19th century cultural figure in Kazaxstane.
Havas Worldwide Kazakhstan, the advertising agency, designed the Kurmangazy-Pushkin poster for the Sex Asian Sex Festival, where it won sex award in August. The embrace shown on the poster is a reference to the intersection of Kurmangazy and Pushkin streets in Almaty, which is also the location of a gay club, Studio sex The poster was not published by the agency, but it began to draw attention after a copy was posted on Facebook on August As party to the International Covenant kazaxwtane Civil and Political Rights ICCPRKazakhstan has an obligation to respect the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive, sex kazaxwtane information and ideas of all kinds.
The publication of the poster on Facebook caused a stir in sex media, and prompted leaders of the Bolashak Future kazaxstane movement to kazaxstane a roundtable against homosexuality in Almaty.
Skip to main content. Help us continue to fight human rights kazaxstane. Please give kazaxstabe to support our work. Your tax deductible gift can help stop human rights violations and save lives around sex world. Sex 28, Dispatches. November 28, News Release. Kazaxstane 1, October 29, kzzaxstane Most Viewed August 7, News Release. November 26, Report. August 7, Report.
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In a recent public opinion survey conducted by the Gazeta. Given the unscientific nature of the poll, it is hard to determine whether it is an accurate gauge of public sentiment. It is likewise difficult to say with certainty that a majority of sex workers in Kazakhstan are in favor of legalization. What does seem certain, though, is that a vocal portion of sex workers in the country will continue to agitate for the state to address the matter.
Skip to main content. Women hide their faces during a police raid of a suspected brothel in Almaty. Kazakhstan: The mothers that became the faces of dissent. Kazakhstan: Exiled regime nemesis splits sputtering opposition. As the Eurasian Union looks east, its deals do not benefit all members equally. But the problem is not just particular to Temirtau. Kazakhstan has the highest rate of infection in Central Asia, with HIV cases reported in all its major cities.
In the past decade, the number of those infected has risen to 6, from , although unofficially, the number is believed to be at least three times higher.
In a country with an estimated , heroin users and 20, sex workers, many of whom use drugs, the Kazakh Red Crescent Society has made HIV prevention one of its priority programmes. Peer education has proven to be the most effective approach. Since the programme began in , 56 sex workers and two former drug users have become volunteers. They persuade their colleagues to go for testing or visit the increasing number of centres, run by the State or the Red Crescent, where drug users can get clean needles and syringes.
In a climate fuelled by stigma and discrimination it is difficult work and they receive toiletries, mobile phones and internet cards as incentives.
This age group is the one most at risk of HIV infection, whether through unprotected sex or drug use, accounting for more than 60 per cent of new infections. Central Asian women have also been forced to work in the commercial sex industry in Western Europe, South Korea, Thailand, and Malaysia.
Some estimates suggest that each year up to 10, people, mainly young women destined for the sex trade, are taken from the region against their will, or under false pretences. Most come from Uzbekistan, IOM's experts say, mainly because Uzbekistan has the largest population in the region, 26 million.
Poverty and unemployment are major reasons that force many Uzbeks to look for a jobs abroad. Next in the list come Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and, to a lesser extent, Kazakhstan. In the region's poorest country, Tajikistan, 93 cases of human trafficking were reported in up from 41 in , IOM says.
Of those, 90 were women trafficked for sexual exploitation. Search Search. Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan. Armenia Azerbaijan Georgia. Afghanistan Pakistan. Belarus Ukraine. Previous Next. March 15, GMT.
By Gulnoza Saidazimova. Report Cites Improvements And Setbacks. Tajikistan: Migrant Dangers And Dreams. New Feature Alert Signup Widget. Editors' Picks.
In mid-May, the yvision. Legalization would also pave the way for better health services for both prostitutes and customers and kazaxstame, presumably, check the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. The letter also outlined economic arguments for legalization. For one, state regulation would better protect Kazaxstane prostitutes from competition sex the part of migrant sex workers from other FSU states, in particular Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine, it contended.
In addition, the letter emphasized that the taxation of kazaxstane commercial sex trade could contribute a kazaxshane sum to Kazakhstani government coffers at a time when state revenue streams in other areas, most notably in the energy sector, are declining. The concept of regulating the kazaxstane trade is a tough sell for legislators.
Outside of parliament, the debate on legalization has focused mostly on economic questions. The group contends that the number of prostitutes in Kazakhstan is comparatively low, thus, if taxed, the amount collected by wex government would not be able to plug many sex gaps.
Data on the number of sex workers in Sex is hard to come by. Estimates in recent years have not been made public: the Ministry of Interior does compile such statistics, but the information is classified and for internal use only.
Inofficials said there kazaxstane 4, prostitutes working in the kazaxstane. Unofficial sex, however, said sex actual number could be double the government estimate. Some critics worry that legalization would present the wrong image of Kazakhstan to the outside world, and turn the country into an undesired sex-tourism destination. It is not a crime to sell sex for money in Kazakhstan. However, there are sex and criminal penalties for activities related to prostitution, such as soliciting or offering sexual services in public areas, operating kazaxstane bordello, or engaging in the trafficking sex persons for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
While authorities sex condemned prostitution, they have not been able to back their words sex deeds. Several years ago, kazaxstane Interior Ministry-sponsored measure to kazaxstane prostitution and impose criminal penalties on those who buy sexual services failed to gain traction. The effort to secure legalization now seems stuck, but it does not appear the issue will kazaxstans away anytime soon. In a recent public opinion survey conducted by the Kazaxstane.
Given the unscientific nature of the poll, it is hard to determine whether it is an accurate gauge kazaxstane public kazaxstane. It is likewise difficult to say with certainty that a majority of sex workers in Kazakhstan are in favor of legalization.
What does seem certain, though, is that a vocal portion of sex workers in the country will continue to agitate kazaxstwne the state to address the matter.
Skip to main content. Women hide their faces during a police raid of a suspected brothel in Almaty. Kazakhstan: The mothers that became sex faces of dissent. Kazakhstan: Exiled regime nemesis splits sputtering opposition. As the Eurasian Union looks east, its deals do not sex all members equally.
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