The UN Committee Against Torture: Kyrgyzstan to ensure that all instances of ill treatment and torture of LGBT persons are investigated

27.11.2013

PRESS RELEASE
27 NOVEMBER 2013

In November 2013, following a governmental report of the delegation of Kyrgyz Republic on its compliance with the Convention Against Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Kyrgyzstan received a recommendation from the UN Committee that required the country to: "...ensure prompt, impartial and thorough investigations into all allegations of ill-treatment and torture committed by police and other officials against LGBT[1] or other people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity; prosecution and, on conviction, punishment for the perpetrators in accordance with law"[2].

During the reporting sessions members of the UN Committee Against Torture, including the Committee Chair, Claudio Grossman, questioned Kyrgyzstan regarding violations of the rights of LGBT persons (pressure, extortion, ill-treatment and torture) committed by law enforcement agencies. In concluding observations for the report, the Committee noted that it was "concerned about the information about police aggression, arbitrary detentions, ill -treatment and torture, including sexual violence against people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, including lesbian, gay , bisexual and transgender people"[3].

Just from January to August 2013 LGBT organizations of the country have documented 11 cases of human rights violations of LGBT people by law enforcement agencies. Human Rights Watch has documented 30 cases of violence (e.g. heavy and prolonged beatings, rape, threats of rape, death threats, denial of food and water) against gay and bisexual men in the period from 2004 to 2013[4].

Veronika Yuryeva, head of advocacy department of LGBT organisation “Labrys”: “LGBT people, when faced by police violence, do not initiate criminal investigations, do not seek help from the state because they fear for their safety, health and life. What is needed is an independent mechanism, which would give victims the opportunity to report offenses, and provide protection of their privacy and safety during investigations and trials. The UN Committee Against Torture also recommended creating such a mechanism to Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyzstan has accepted its international obligations in this regard and is obliged to comply with them."

The recommendation concerning infringement of rights of the LGBT community in Kyrgyzstan received by the country is the fifth recommendation of the various UN Committees to Kyrgyzstan issued within the last six years (in 2008 Kyrgyzstan received two recommendations from the UN Committee on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, and in 2010 - two recommendations were received within the frameworks of the Universal Periodic Review)[5]. To date, Kyrgyzstan has not taken any action towards implementation of the recommendations received and the change in the position of the LGBT communities in the country.

A preliminary version of the concluding observations of the UN Committee Against Torture was published online by the UN office on November 26, 2013. Comments and recommendations were formed by the Committee based on information obtained as a result of consideration of national and alternative reports on the observance of the UN "Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Degrading Treatment or Punishment” by Kyrgyzstan in Geneva from 12 to 13 November 2013.
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[1] LGBT — acronym for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender people.
[2] "The Committee Against Torture. Concluding observations on the second periodic report of Kyrgyzstan. Advance unedited version // CAT - Convention against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. 51 Session (28 Oct 2013 - 22 Nov 2013). Source: http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/SessionDetails1.aspx?SessionID=809&Lang=en
[3] Ibid.
[4] Human Rights Watch Submission to the United Nations. Committee Against Torture on Kyrgyzstan. Source: http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CAT/Shared%20Documents/KGZ/INT_CAT_NGO_KGZ_15555_E.pdf
[5] Yuryeva, V. Violation of rights of LGBT citizens in Kyrgyzstan in the context of international obligations of the country // Annual publication on Human Rights in the Kyrgyz Republic for 2012. Human Rights Council. Bishkek, 2013. P. 100. Source: http://hrab.kg/images/pdf_documents/ejegodnik_rus_2012.pdf

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