BISHKEK -- Kyrgyzstan's acting grand mufti, Maksat Hajji Toktomushev, has issued a fatwa against same-sex relations and challenged the findings of a new report by Human Rights Watch (HRW).
In a statement placed on the Kyrgyz Muslims' Spiritual Directorate website
on January 30, Toktomushev said Islam absolutely forbids same-sex relations.
Homosexuality was decriminalized in Kyrgyzstan in 1998.
Responding to a January 29 HRW report on the treatment of homosexuals by Kyrgyz police
, Toktomushev called on Kyrgyz authorities and the parliament "to pay special attention to the activities of some public organizations that disseminate social discord while using humanistic ideas."
In its report, HRW found that police in Kyrgyzstan have extorted, threatened, arbitrarily detained, beaten, and sexually abused gay and bisexual men.
The report called on Kyrgyzstan to protect its gay citizens.