Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 December 2018, 09:02 GMT

Kyrgyzstan: Treatment of gays and lesbians and available state protection

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 2 May 2003
Citation / Document Symbol KGT41410.E
Reference 2
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Kyrgyzstan: Treatment of gays and lesbians and available state protection, 2 May 2003, KGT41410.E, available at: [accessed 13 December 2018]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

No current information on the treatment of gays and lesbians in Kyrgyzstan or the availability of state protection could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

However, according to a 20 July 2001 report on the IRIN News Website, "[p]rior to 1998, homosexuality in Kyrgyzstan was illegal and people faced two years imprisonment if caught." Amnesty International's 1998 annual report on Kyrgyzstan states that in October 1997, a new Criminal Code was signed into law by Kyrgyzstan's President which "decriminalized homosexual acts between consenting adult men." The new Criminal Code of Kyrgyzstan entered into force on 1 January 1998 (ILGA Jan. 1998; Wockner News 5 Jan. 1998). While homosexuality is no longer considered a "criminal offense" (Eurasianet 21 May 2001), homosexual acts which involve "'force' or 'the threat of force' or 'tak[ing] advantage of the weakness of the victim'" are punishable under Article 130 of the Criminal Code (Wockner News 5 Jan. 1998) by 3 to 8 years of imprisonment (ILGA Jan. 1998).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Amnesty International. 1998. "Kyrgyzstan." Annual Report 1998.   

[Accessed 29 Apr. 2003]

Eurasianet. 21 May 2001. Eurasia Insight. Alisher Khamidov. "Central Asia Has Unique Opportunity to Prevent Aids Epidemic."        [Accessed 29 Apr. 2003]

The International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA). January 1998. Euroletter.      No. 56. "Kyrgyzstan Decriminalizes Consenting Same-Sex Relations."        [Accessed  29 Apr. 2003]

IRIN News. 20 July 2001. "Kyrgystan: IRIN Focus on the Battle Against HIV." [Accessed 29 Apr. 2003]

Wockner News. 5 January 1998. "Kyrgyzstan Legalizes Gay Sex."         [Accessed 29 Apr. 2003]

Additional Sources Consulted

IRB Databases

Internet sites, including:

Asante UK

Embassy of the Kyrgyz Republic to the USA and Canada

Human Rights Watch

International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC)

Kyrgyzstan Online

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Sodomy Laws of the World

US Department of State

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Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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