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Wednesday, December 19th, 2018

Kazakh Gay-Rights Activist Fined Over Controversial Photoshoot

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A gay rights and women’s rights activist in Kazakhstan has been fined for taking part in a provocative photoshoot that she says was aimed at raising awareness about a taboo subject in Kazakhstan — menstruation.

A court in Almaty ruled on August 20 that activist Zhanar Sekerbaeva was guilty on hooliganism charges in connection with the controversial photo shoot. She was ordered her to pay a fine of 12,000 Kazakh tenges, or about $35.

Sekerbaeva, a member of the Kazakhstan-based gay rights and women’s rights group Feminita, took part in the August 9 photo shoot on the streets of Almaty — holding up a drawing of a woman menstruating over a group of traditional nomadic houses known as yurts.

Amnesty International had urged Kazakh authorities on August 16 to “immediately end proceedings” against Sekerbaeva.

Heather McGill, an Amnesty International researcher on Eastern Europe and Central Asia, said the case against Sekerbaeva was “a perfect illustration” of Kazakh authorities’ “intolerance of any views which they do not endorse.”

Sekerbaeva was detained on August 15, shortly before she was due to make a presentation in Almaty about her research on HIV and health issues that impact lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender women in Kazakhstan.

Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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