Defamation campaign and threats against human rights defender Tolekan Ismailova

October 26, 2012

On 14 October 2012, TV channel LTR broadcast a program in which human rights defender Ms Tolekan Ismailova was depicted as spreading propaganda for homosexuality in Kyrgyzstan and being destructive to Kyrgyz values. Similar accusations were published in several Kyrgyz-language newspapers. Ms Tolekan Ismailova is the director of Human Rights Centre ‘Citizens Against Corruption’. These accusations refer to the documentary ‘I Am Gay and Muslim’, which was part of the human rights film festival Bir Duyno – Kyrgyzstan (One World  Kyrgyzstan), organised annually in Bishkek. The documentary was scheduled to be shown on 28 September 2012 in Bishkek. The film explores the problematic issue of gay rights in the Islamic world, taking the example of Moroccan young men who speak about their sexual and religious identity.

On 26 September 2012, the organisers of the festival had received phone calls and text messages threatening them with physical harm while the director of the cinema was threatened that the building would be set on fire unless the film’s screening was cancelled. Dublin-based Front Line Defenders condemns the smear campaign and threats against Ms Tolekan Ismailova and the other organisers of the human rights festival, and is concerned for their physical and psychological integrity and security.

For actions see:

This information was received through the International Secretariat of Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition. 

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