The Main Targets of Hate Speech in Kyrgyzstan: Russians, Chinese and Canadians

Published: 29 February 2016

Country: Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan_Media_Hate_SpeechMuslims, different ethnic groups, and LGBT people are the main target of hate speech and attacks on social media in Kyrgyzstan, the monitoring report “Hate Speech in Media, Internet and Public Discourse – 2015” shows. Almost 62% of negative-tone statements in the Kyrgyz media were used against ethnic groups such as Russians, Chinese, Turks and Canadians. For instance, discussion of Kumtor gold mining company in a negative context resulted in the Canadians becoming targets of hate speech.

“Chinese expansion” is also a stereotype that is widely spread in all types of media in Kyrgyzstan and number of inhumane expressions in public discourse has been detected as used against Chinese companies involved in civil engineering, states the report.

Kyrgyz users of social networks and journalists were recognized to be as the main cathegories of active propagators of hate speech. Journalists were also found to be spreading hate speech by publishing and broadcasting interviews, quotes and comments of politicians, experts, scientists and intellectuals containing overtly xenophobic overtones.

The monitoring report was carried out by a group of experts of the  School of Peace-making and Media Technology in Central Asia who also organised a public discussion on the level of hate speech in media and internet in the Kyrgyz Republic, the role of new media and social networks in spreading the hate speech, its impact on the audience, dynamics and trends of ethnic, religious and social stereotypes, and also elaborated a number of recommendations on prevention of hate speech.

As a recommendation on development of tolerance and prevention of hate speech in the media, in addition to the antidiscrimination law adoption, participants suggested changing the approach to educating reporters, holding trainings on peace-making journalism and increasing the level of competency for professionals, complying with high international journalism standards and ethics, pursuing national policy in the field of education of citizens in the area of diversity and human rights.