Petition to political parties and candidates to prevent the use of hate speech and promote more tolerant speech during elections to local councils
On March 17, a campaign to prevent hate speech was launched in Kyrgyzstan ahead of elections to local councils. The campaign is led by the Westminster Foundation for Democracy(WFD) jointly with the PF “Civic Platform” within the framework of the Media Dialogue project, funded by the European Union. During online discussions with youth groups, a petition to political parties and candidates was developed to prevent the use of hate speech and promote more tolerant speech during elections to local councils.
PETITION TO CANDIDATES
Elections to local keneshes on April 11, 2021
To candidates standing for elections to local keneshes!
We, the active youth from the network of civic organizations “For fair elections” gathered in consultative meetings on the 23-24 of March 2021 to collectively emphasise that we stand for a society free from discrimination and prejudice based on gender, religion or belief, race, ethnic origin, nationality or any other identity!
We are aware of the important role of party/candidates’ play in organizing and conducting the electoral campaign and through this fosters a favourable and peaceful atmosphere based on mutual respect, equality and dignity of each person.
We ask candidates to make sure that all their actions and statements will protect human rights, especially the freedom of expression and protection against discrimination and refrain from hostile language towards other electoral contestants.
In achieving honest and fair elections, we youth would like to see candidates to be committed to the following:
- Show tolerance towards members or representatives of other political parties, candidates and voters throughout the electoral process to help support a stable and peaceful electoral environment, and avoid discrimination and prejudice based on gender, religion or belief, race, ethnic origin, nationality or any other identity;
- Do not incite, assist or facilitate intimidation in any form of candidates, party members, representatives or supporters of political parties, candidates or voters during the entire electoral process;
- Create conditions to prevent the provocation of conflicts, as well as not to use the “language of enmity and hatred” in media and social resources;
- Avoid publication of false or defamatory accusations or intentional unfounded statements against opponents throughout the entire electoral process;
- Refrain from acts containing violence, whether physical or psychological, discrimination and hostility towards opponents in order to demonstrate the strength of a political party/candidate or prove its/his/her superiority, and avoid focusing on the ethnic, regional, gender, linguistic and other identification of candidates of political parties, both their own and competing ones;
- Not to promote destruction or damage of posters, billboards or any other election materials of political parties or candidates;
- Promote equality and integration to ensure equal opportunity for all electoral contestant and voters with members complying with a “non-aggressive” campaigning policy,
- Establish ethical rules on your social media pages, prohibit comments that incite any discord, offensive and provide with more positive information, and avoid using trolls and fake accounts.