Three EL*C members and the participants were intimidated by state authorities in Astana during feminist meetings.
Zhanar Sekerbayeva, board member of EL*C and of Feminita Kazakhstan Feminist initiative, reports that on 3 and 5 May: “The Police and several national security agencies, NSD and MSU tried to disrupt our feminist meetings in Astana. Four people came to the first meeting and sat in the corridor (“waiting for an English lesson”) then a district police officer appeared and started searching for a “LGBT meeting”.
At the first meeting four agents of the National Security department (NSD) and a district police officer came to the building. During the second meeting, the officers of the Mobile Security Unit (MSU) entered the building (in bulletproof vests), but too late, the meeting was over and they didn’t find me. Then, the police searched the building again.”
Feminita, an organization focusing on the rights of LBQ women in Kazakhstan, has been trying to request an official registration since 2017 and they have been denied around 10 times. Feminita, an organization focusing on the rights of LBQ women in Kazakhstan, has been trying to request an official registration since 2017 and they have been denied around 10 times. In the past 2 years, despite the promises from the government for a “New and Fair Kazakhstan” promoting democracy and respecting human rights, the situation for LGBTIQ activists has not improved.
After the 2022 demonstrations, civil unrest, and the intervention of Russian forces in the country, human rights activists denounce that it has become even more difficult to protect LGBTIQ rights and their enjoyment of freedom of assembly and expression is limited. LGBTIQ civil society organisations struggle to continue existing as it is impossible for them to legally register in the country.
As the co-founder of Feminita, Zhanar, says: Feminists can’t be stopped by this masculinity “shows”!
We call on the representatives of the EU delegation to Kazakhstan and foreign embassies in Kazakhstan to:
– monitor the respect of human rights in Kazakhstan;
– call the Kazakhstan public authorities to end the violations of the right of peaceful assembly of LGBTI activists;
– express solidarity with Kazakh LGBTI activists by flying the rainbow flag on embassy buildings on 16 & 17 May, the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.