Posted 2012/12/4

Kyrgyzstan: Update – Request for Investigation Filed by Human Rights Defender Ms Tolekan Ismailova

On 3 December 2012, Ms Tolekan Ismailova sent a request to the chairman of the State Committee for National Security (SCNS) of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan to investigate the circumstances around a warning that she had received earlier this year from the Detective Officer of the 5th Department of the SCNS, Mr Soodonbekov. Tolekan Ismailova is a prominent human rights defender in Kyrgyzstan and the Chairperson of the human rights centre 'Citizens Against Corruption'.

On 28 September 2012, Mr Soodonbekov issued an official warning to Tolekan Ismailova due to the scheduled screening of the LGBT documentary 'I Am Gay and Muslim' at a human rights film festival co-organized by Citizens Against Corruption.

The warning stipulated that “according to the decision by the State Commission of Religious Affairs, based on point 6.1 of Article 1 of the Law on Combating Extremist Activity, the film is considered 'extremist' and its diffusion and broadcasting within the territory of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan might encourage religious hatred and set the scene for mass disorder”. As a result of this, the film screening did not take place. Front Line Defenders issued an appeal on these events on 19 October 2012.

Tolekan Ismailova filed a complaint against the SCNS with the inter-district court of the city of Bishkek which ruled on 27 November 2012 that the warning issued by Mr Soodanbekov had not been filed in accordance with the procedural regulations. Therefore, the court could not consider the case against the SCNS. As a result, Tolekan Ismailova has now requested the chairman of the SCNS to conduct an internal investigation of Mr Soodonbekov's activities.