Types of criminalisation

  • Criminalises sex between men
Criminal Code 1994, Article 120 Homosexual Intercourse

Article 120 punishes “voluntary sexual intercourse of two male individuals” with up to three years imprisonment. The law apples to men only.1



The US Department of State Human Rights Report on Uzbekistan states that the law was enforced during the year. According to the LGBT community, police and other law enforcement personnel used the threat of arrest or prosecution to extract heavy bribes from gay men.

Statements by Public Figures


Mahmud Istamov, Deputy Justice Minister, said following Uzbekistan’s third UPR cycle about LGBT rights: “this is not on our agenda. We have not accepted this recommendation. This is not a topical subject for us.”


In a cable released by Wikileaks in 2014, then President Islam Karimov stated that “homosexuality is disgusting to Uzbeks.”

Homosexuality is disgusting to Uzbeks.

Former President Islam Karimov

Persecution and Discrimination


Eurasianet.org reported that two men had been arrested in Tashkent under the charges of engaging in illegal sexual relations. According to the report, the police told media they had conducted intrusive medical examinations to confirm that the men had engaged in sexual intercourse.

Legislative News


In the report of the working group on Uzbekistan’s third UPR cycle, Uzbekistan noted all the recommendations that it received including recommendations concerning the decriminalisation of consensual same-sex relations between adults and the adoption of legislation to prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.


In its previous UPR cycle, the country rejected recommendations to decriminalise consensual same-sex sexual activity:

“On questions regarding the decriminalization of LGBT, Uzbekistan confirmed that the Criminal Code forbids consensual sexual relations between men, but this does not apply to women. There are no plans in the near future to repeal this law which reflects traditions that have developed over more than 1000 years. Uzbekistan in this respect shares the position of the Muslim countries expressed during the discussions of this issue within the Human Rights Council.”

1. Criminal Code 1994, Article 120 Homosexual Intercourse

“Besoqolbozlik, that is, voluntary sexual intercourse of two male individuals – shall be punished with imprisonment up to three years.” Full text.

Keep in Touch

Sign up to our newsletter for updates on key legal challenges to anti-LGBT laws around the world, news on the reform of discriminatory laws in the Commonwealth, comment from our Director on landmark judgments and employment opportunities at the Trust.