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UN Experts Urge Kyrgyz Parliament To Withdraw Anti-Gay Bill

GENEVA -- A group of United Nations human rights experts has urged Kyrgyz Parliament to withdraw a bill that suggests legal prosecution for what it calls "gay propaganda."

The office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights urged Kyrgyz lawmakers to fight "against all forms of violence and discrimination," instead of "adopting legislation which de facto condemns lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities to silence."

In a November 26 statement, it warns that "if passed, the law would run afoul of Kyrgyzstan's human rights obligations and commitments."

The bill passed in a first reading in parliament in October, and must be voted on twice more before going to the president for signature.

It calls for "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" to be punished by up to one year in jail and says journalists found guilty of "propagating" homosexual relations will be held accountable.

The bill also bans the creation of groups that defend the gays' rights.

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