A leading human rights group has criticized Kazakhstan for failing to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people from violence, discrimination, and abuse.
In a report issued on July 23, Human Rights Watch said LGBT people in Kazakhstan live in "an intensified climate of fear."
Kyle Knight, LGBT rights researcher at the New York-based group and author of the report, said such a climate “is stoked both by the abuses and discrimination they face directly, as well as abuse and discrimination when they try to report rights violations to authorities.”
“The Kazakh government should clearly state its support for the human rights of LGBT people, ensure that no discriminatory legislation is passed into law, and take immediate steps to tackle homophobia,” he added.
The report comes as the International Olympic Committee is to vote on July 31 to award the 2022 Winter Olympics either to Almaty or Beijing.