ECOM continues to regularly analyze violations of LGBT people's rights in the countries of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region.
Below you will find a report on the violations of the rights of gays, other MSM and trans people in the Republic of Uzbekistan for 2022. This report is based on cases of rights violations documented by the partners during the year, as well as the analysis of the legal environment.
In 2022, 80 cases of rights violations of LGBT people in Uzbekistan were registered. Most often, the victims were gays or other MSM, in 3 cases the victims were trans women, in 1 case – a bisexual woman. Also, 1 heterosexual man and 2 heterosexual women faced violations of their rights due to political persecution or their association with the LGBT community.
Most often, the violations were committed because of the victims' SOGI. In addition, the violations were motivated by the HIV status and engagement in sex work. The main violators of LGBT people's rights were representatives of law enforcement agencies — 23 cases, in 22 cases the violations were committed by the victims' relatives, and in 19 cases — by the victims' neighbors and acquaintances. In 14 cases, hate groups were organized that specifically target LGBT people; and in 12 cases, LGBT individuals themselves violated the rights of the community, most often for the purpose of extortion.
Uzbekistan remains one of the two republics in Central Asia that criminalize consensual sexual contacts between adult men, which is the reason why the LGBT community cannot feel safe. Legislation in Uzbekistan is one of the most repressive in EECA in relation to LGBT people and people living with HIV.
Without decriminalizing same-sex contacts and without creating friendly legislation for people living with HIV, it is impossible to solve the problem of rights violations of LGBT people in Uzbekistan. ECOM analyzed other legal barriers existing in the legislative framework of Uzbekistan and developed the following recommendations for the government of the Republic of Uzbekistan:
- Repeal Article 120 of the Criminal Code, which criminalizes voluntary homosexual relationships, and stop the persecution of LGBT people, ensuring their rights and freedoms in accordance with international law.
- Rehabilitate those convicted under Article 120, release them from places of deprivation of liberty and develop a plan for their further socialization in the society.
- Conduct investigations into extortion, intimidation, torture against LGBT people by law enforcement agencies; carry out routine preventive work on eliminating discrimination in law enforcement agencies.
- Ensure unimpeded registration process for NGOs that provide assistance to LGBT people in Uzbekistan; ensure the unhindered work of international human rights organizations and their access to vulnerable populations.
- Develop and implement programs aimed at training medical personnel to work with LGBT people, pursue a policy aimed at combating discrimination among medical personnel.
- Introduce a legislative framework that protects LGBT people from discrimination, both from state structures and from civil society.
- Introduce the concept of “hate crimes” in the Criminal Code.
- Combat intolerance towards the LGBT community and increase the liability for calls for violence against members of the LGBT community.
- Provide a training program on the concept of "hate speech and freedom of speech" at all levels.
The publication was prepared by ECOM and published as part of the Regional project «Sustainability of services for key populations in the region of Eastern Europe and Central Asia» (SoS_project 2.0), implemented by a consortium of organizations led by the Alliance fir Public Health in partnership with the CO «100% Life», with financial support from the Global Fund.
The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of the consortium organizations as well as the Global Fund.
The Global Fund was not involved in agreeing and approving either the material itself or the possible conclusions from it.