Russia – a Trendsetter for New Repressive Legislation in Post-Soviet Republics


On 4 December, Sanzhar Kurmanov, the Interim Director of the Kyrgyz organisation Labrys and, Kirill Koroteev, the Senior Lawyer from the Russian organisation Memorial HRC will talk on how Post-Soviet Republics imitate Russian legislation.

In recent years, Russia has adopted several laws that severely restrict critical civil society organisations – the Propaganda laws and the Foreign Agents law, to mention a few. This development has gone hand in hand with the authorities aim to strengthen traditional values while at the same time denouncing western human rights values. Authorities in other Post-Soviet countries are increasingly imitating this crackdown, particularly in Central Asia leaving human rights defenders and vulnerable groups subject to increasing threats and harassment.

The Kyrgyz parliament is well on their way to pass a law that proposes criminal and administrative liability for “information of a positive attitude to non-traditional forms of sexual relations”. The proposed law is much more severe than the Russian predecessor and will ­prohibit the LGBTQ community to form associations and organisations.

In the light of these developments we have invited, Kirill Koroteev, the Senior Lawyer from the Russian organisation Memorial HRC and, Sanzhar Kurmanov, the Interim Director of the Kyrgyz organisation Labrys. Both share a long experience of human rights work in their respective countries as well as in the region and will give a unique presentation on the on-going crackdown and how it can be counteracted.

The seminar will be held in English and moderated by Cecilia Rosing, Programme Officer at the Eastern Europe and Central Asia Programme at Civil Rights Defenders.

Time: Thursday 4 December from 9.00 to 10.00, breakfast served from 8.30.
Location: Civil Rights Defenders, Stora Nygatan 26, Stockholm

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HRC Memorial is one of the most prominent human rights organisations in Russia and has been defending human rights and promoting the development of a vibrant civil society since the fall of the Soviet Union and is currently placed on the Russian Foreign Agents list. The organisation has played a key role in advocating against impunity for law enforcement and the military for grave human rights violations in the North Caucasus.

Labrys has been active since 2004 and is the most prominent NGO working with LGBTQ rights in Central Asia and Kyrgyzstan. It started as a lesbian, bisexual women’s and transgender people’s organisation but now includes gay and bisexual men, queer and intersex people in its scope of work. The organisation is under direct threat of closure if the proposed Propaganda law is adopted in Kyrgyzstan.

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Categories: Events and Uncategorized.
Tags: Foreign Agent Law, Kyrgyzstan, Larbys, LGBTQ, Memorial HRC, Propaganda laws, Roemer Lemaitre, and Russia.
Regions: Kyrgyzstan and Russia.