Uzbekistan’s law reforms still criminalize homosexuality

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3/19/21

On March 14, Rasul Kusherbayev — a young member of Uzbekistan’s parliament who considers himself an advocate for “positive change in the country” — posted on Telegram that the day same-sex relations are legalized would mark the death of the nation. Kusherbayev’s statement, made to almost 53,000 subscribers, comes days after the LGBTQ rights group ILGA-Europe called for Uzbekistan’s government to abolish an article in the country’s newly drafted criminal code that punishes same-sex relations between men with up to three years in jail. Uzbekistan remains one of only two countries in Central Asia where homosexuality is criminalized. The other is Turkmenistan, one of the world’s most repressive dictatorships. More than 40 human rights organizations have demanded that Uzbekistan respect its commitments as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council and carry out reforms. The calls came after the new draft of the country’s criminal code categorized homosexual relations as a crime “against family, children and morality.”

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