Tolekan Ismailova

Tolekan Ismailova is a Kyrgyz human rights defender. She is vice-president and director of the Bir Duino-Kyrgyzstan human rights movement (formerly known as Citizens Against Corruption). Its mission is to report about the rights of vulnerable groups, promote women’s leadership, and reform the penitentiary system and criminal law. The movement organises the Bir Duino-Kyrgyzstan international documentary human rights film festival, a large platform for young filmmakers and activists from different countries. In 2012, following the showing of the documentary I'm Gay, I'm a Muslim, intelligence agencies in Kyrgyzstan declared Tolekan an “extremist and promoter of inter-ethnic and inter-religious conflicts”. Tolekan is an honorary member of the International Youth Movement. She was elected Vice-President of the International Federation for Human Rights in 2013, and became an honorary member of the Cinematographic Union of Kyrgyzstan.