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President Should Immediately Prohibit Torturous Exams

(Washington, D.C.)—Authorities in Uzbekistan have subjected at least six men to forced anal examinations between 2017 and 2021 in order to prosecute them for consensual same-sex relations, nine human rights groups said today. Forced anal examinations…
Uzbekistan's President Shavkat Mirziyoyev speaking in Qingdao, China on June 9, 2018. © 2018 AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko.”
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Ensure Effective Investigation; Condemn Flagrant Homophobia

Update (May 4, 2021): Police detained the blogger, Miraziz Bazarov, on April 29, immediately after he was discharged from the hospital where he had been recovering from a violent attack by unidentified assailants on March 28. A court placed Bazarov…
Amir Timur statue, in Amir Timur square, Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
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Ensure Rights to Personal Security, Privacy, Nondiscrimination

(Berlin) – Men in Uzbekistan who engage in consensual same-sex sexual conduct face arbitrary detention, prosecution, and imprisonment as well as homophobia, threats, and extortion, Human Rights Watch said today. Uzbekistan should guarantee rights to…
The Senate of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Independence Square, Mustakillik Maydoni, Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
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(Berlin) – Men in Uzbekistan who engage in consensual same-sex sexual conduct face arbitrary detention, prosecution, and imprisonment as well as homophobia, threats, and extortion, Human Rights Watch said today. Uzbekistan should guarantee…
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Rights Perspectives on Laws Assigning Gender

Dana Zzymm, an intersex and nonbinary US citizen, has been on a years-long quest to obtain a passport that reflects their identity by using a non-binary “X” marker in lieu of the typical “F” or “M.” They sued to compel the US State…
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Reports of Ill-Treatment Show Need for Transparency, Monitoring

(Paris) – Uzbek authorities should immediately and unconditionally release an Afghan citizen whose 13-year imprisonment and alleged torture in custody have only recently become known, the Association for Human Rights in Central Asia, International…
A guard in a solitary confinement block at an unidentified prison in Uzbekistan. Prisoners in solitary confinement in Uzbekistan’s prisons experience cramped cells without bedding—some in total darkness, others with permanent bright lights
News

Netherlands Court Cites India, Nepal Cases

A Netherlands district court cited supreme court judgments from India and Nepal when it ruled the Dutch legislature should provide a way for citizens to legally identify as neither male nor female if they prefer. The Supreme…
Bhumika Shrestha, a transgender woman in Nepal, holds her citizenship certificate, which listed her as male in 2011. Nepal legally recognized a third gender category beginning in 2007, but it took Shrestha and other activists and transgender citizens unti
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Members of Nepal’s LGBT community were once openly derided as “social pollutants,” but now enjoy social and political rights—including legal recognition of a third gender—that put the country leagues ahead of much of the rest of the world. The past decade…
Marchers in the 2013 Gai Jatra LGBTI pride parade fill the streets of Kathmandu.
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Court Ruling Opens the Way to Marriage Equality

Taiwan’s constitutional court this week paved the way for marriage equality in the country by striking down the legal definition of marriage as “between a man and a woman.” The landmark decision declared this limited…
Supporters hug each other during a rally after Taiwan's constitutional court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to legally marry, the first such ruling in Asia, in Taipei, Taiwan May 24, 2017.
News

Third Gender Column on Job Application Form Makes a Difference

More than 600 transgender people applied for civil service jobs in Nepal last year, according to a government report released last week. LGBT rights activists hail the announcement as practical progress toward implementing Nepal’s identity-based legal…
A reveller gets ready to take part in a LGBT pride parade to mark Gaijatra Festival, also known as the festival of cows, in Kathmandu, Nepal August 30, 2015.
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End Torture; Respect Basic Freedoms

(Berlin) – Central Asia's political leaders should focus on urgently needed improvements to basic human rights protections for their populations, as they deal with leadership succession and internal politics, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its…
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For all his promises — and a Nobel Peace Prize — the Obama presidency delivered more hope than change

As Donald Trump prepares to take office, many fear a new hostility to human rights on the part of the United States. From his divisive rhetoric about minorities to his embrace of autocrats abroad, there is plenty to worry about.  Trump…
U.S. President Barack Obama waves at the conclusion of his final State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington January 12, 2016.
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Urgent Need for Reform as Mirziyoyev Takes Office

(Bishkek) – Uzbekistan’s incoming government should take concrete steps to improve the country’s abysmal human rights record, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to President-elect Shavkat Mirziyoyev. Human Rights Watch identified key reform areas,…
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Activists, Groups Targeted, Persecuted by Authorities

(Berlin) – Central Asian governments ramped up pressure on nongovernmental groups and activists in 2015, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2016. The governments of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan arrested…
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Kerry Should Press to Free Activists, Let Independent Groups Operate

(Washington, DC) – United States Secretary of State John Kerry should publicly express concern over Central Asian governments’ distinctly poor human rights records during his Central Asia visits, beginning October 31, 2015, Human Rights Watch said today…
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The arrival of a transgender activist from Nepal in Taiwan last Saturday for the 2015 International Lesbian and Gay Association’s Asia conference may seem unremarkable. But it was in fact quite special: The activist, Bhumika Shrestha, is the first Nepali…
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Abe Should Make Human Rights a Core Part of His Trip

(Tokyo, October 22, 2015) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Central Asia trip is a key opportunity to raise concerns about the alarming state of human rights throughout the region and underscore the importance of reforms, Human Rights Watch said…
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Overview of key human rights concerns in Central Asia October 2015 Kazakhstan Kazakhstan’s human rights record has seen an unequivocal and marked deterioration in the last five years, with the authorities launching an…