Response stories

Threats and cyberbullying against a non-binary person in Kazakhstan

An incident that occurred last year and had a continuation in early 2024 related to Aruzhan (name changed). They are 21 years old, non-binary person, LGBTIQ+ activist. A university student saw Aruzhan’s recent posts regarding their civic activities and the attacks associated with them. This student, who was part of a group that had previously cyberbullying and threatening Aruzhan with violence because of their participation in a Pride Flag community event, began posting insults and threats again in a closed group on Telegram under an anonymous nickname.

The insults included derogatory terms and phrases, as well as threats of violence, such as “I’m itching to smack him in the back alley”. Aruzhan’s friend who was a member of the group forwarded screenshots of the messages. The client, despite the fact that they were now out of the attacker’s reach, were very worried about their safety and feared that they might be found and harmed.

This situation is an example of cyber-bullying and threats that violate the human rights to safe existence and protection from discrimination, in particular against LGBTIQ+ persons, and can also have significant psychological and physical consequences.

To protect their rights, Aruzhan sought the help of REActors. In response to the threats and cyberbullying, the REActors prepared and wrote a complaint to the university administration. Cyberbullying and threats of violence are prohibited by law and should be prosecuted. It is important that educational institutions and other institutions protect their students from such actions and create a safe environment for all, regardless of their gender identity and sexual orientation.

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Violation of rights and lack of assistance: a case of discrimination in Moldova