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August 07, 20171171

Open Letter from LGBT of Kazakhstan to the President of Uzbekistan

To President of the Republic of Uzbekistan

Shavkat Miromonovich Mirziyoyev

Open Letter

Dear Mr. President,

We are writing to you on behalf of one and a half million citizens of Kazakhstan, who are the members of LGBT community. We keep a watchful eye on the significant reforms that have been carried out in the Republic of Uzbekistan since your election. We are happy to see liberalization of the economy, support for small and medium-sized businesses, improvements in the armed forces, and reforms in education. What is more, we see that liberalization is taking place not only in the economic sphere, but also in the political, social and cultural spheres; changes in the field of mass media are noticeable.

In connection with the ongoing reforms, we ask you to initiate changes in the Criminal Code, in which the norm on the criminal prosecution of the so-called sodomy has been preserved since Soviet times. Homosexuality is criminalized in only two of the former Soviet countries - Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. We urge you to commit a great act of humanism and allow Uzbek citizens who belong to LGBT people to live and love freely.

There are very many gays in Kazakhstan who left Uzbekistan because of the criminal prosecution. All of them are talented, professional citizens who could benefit their native state. According to their testimonies, the criminal article works only as an excuse for corruption of unscrupulous law enforcement officers. They arrange traps and raids for gays, and then blackmail them with criminal prosecution, extorting money.

Having abolished the article for ‘sodomy’, you will give hope for a free life to hundreds of thousands of your fellow citizens who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender people.

Homosexuals are people like everybody else, homosexuality is neither a mental nor a physical disorder. The World Health Organization, which Uzbekistan joined in 1992, excluded homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) back in 1990.

This will be a step of a humane and modern state. Uzbekistan has been the region's leader throughout history. And now the huge potential of your talented and hardworking citizens, creating a new Uzbekistan, will help the state to occupy that place in the world that it truly deserves. Otherwise, the persistence of criminal prosecution for love can remain a spot on the reputation of your state.

Dear Shavkat Miromonovich, by excluding this article from the Criminal Code, you will remain in the history of your state and in the memories of millions of people around the world.

                                            With respect and hope, LGBT community of Kazakhstan

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