ADDED ON: 08/14/2021

LGBTQ activism in Uzbekistan ‘is almost impossible’

8/13/21 | Los Angeles Blade

A human rights activist in Uzbekistan says LGBTQ people in their country continue to live in fear. “Members of the LGBT community continue to be intimidated,” the human rights activist told the Los Angeles Blade this week. “Activism and protection of the rights of LGBT representatives is almost impossible in the country.” “There are no mechanisms that would somehow help people who are already in a complex psycho-emotional state,” added the human rights activist. “It is not possible to ask for help if you suffered on the basis of your sexual orientation; either from law enforcement agencies, doctors, psychologists or other structures that should provide this assistance.” Uzbekistan is among the dozens of countries in which consensual same-sex sexual relations remain criminalized. Human Rights Watch; the Council for Global Equality; the Eurasian Coalition on Health, Rights, Gender and Sexual Diversity; Freedom Now; Human Dignity Trust; the Human Rights Campaign; ILGA-Europe; the International Partnership for Human Rights and the Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany in an Aug. 5 press release noted Uzbek authorities between 2017 and this year have subjected at least six men to so-called anal exams to prove they engaged in consensual same-sex sexual relations. The groups urged President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to immediately ban this practice. “Forced anal examinations, and their use in seeking convictions for consensual same-sex conduct, are an appalling violation of basic rights that diminishes Uzbekistan’s efforts to make its poor human rights record a thing of the past,” said Human Rights Watch Associate LGBT Rights Director Neela Ghoshal in the press release. “The Uzbek government has been vocal about its intent to make human rights reforms, yet persists in using a discredited, abusive procedure that amounts to torture.”

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