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07:46 | 24th October 2017

News: World

Fri 3 Oct, 2014
By Robert Ingham


The poster is no doubt provocative, but provocation is a legitimate part of freedom of expression and arguably an inherent part of creative design

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Kazakhstan - Gay Kiss on Poster Heralds Lawsuits

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A series of lawsuits have been brought over a poster showing a same-sex kiss in Kazakhstan.

The poster, created by an advertising agency, shows two significant historical figures kissing – the Kazakh composer Kurmangazy Sagyrbaiuly and the Russian poet, Aleksandr Pushkin.

Today, a judge in Almaty, the largest city in Kazakhstan, will begin initial proceedings in a case brought against the agency by 34 people who work at a national conservatoire and in an orchestra named after the famous 19th century Kazahk composer. The plaintiffs are seeking approximately US$186,000, (£115,000) in damages from the Havas Worldwide Kazakhstan advertising agency.

The picture - and advert for a gay club - sparked controversy on social media after the agency posted it to Facebook on 24 August.

The human rights watchdog, Human Rights Watch, has now said that “respect for freedom of expression should lead to dismissal” of the lawsuits in a statement.

“The poster is no doubt provocative, but provocation is a legitimate part of freedom of expression and arguably an inherent part of creative design,” said Mihra Rittman, the Europe and Central Asia researcher for Human Rights Watch.

“Kazakhastan’s judiciary should ensure that freedom of expression trumps subjective discomfort about a particular image, and that homophobia masked as cultural concern is not allowed to triumph,” Rittman said.

Source: The Independant

To read more, click www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/kazakhstan-lawsuits-brought-over-gay-kiss-on-adagency-poster-9769802.html

 

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