Tajikistan rife with homophobia

NGOs are neglecting gay rights in the central Asian nation

Tajikistan rife with homophobia
06 February 2012

A report last week from the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) found that homophobia is endemic in the central Asian former Soviet country of Tajikistan.

Gay rights groups and individuals told the IWPR about threats of public beatings and police harassment in Tajikistan. In relatively more liberal neighbouring Kyrgyzstan there are about a dozen gay rights organisations in the capital Bishkek, but Tajikistan only has one. The group, Equal Opportunities recently held a public event and invited several NGOs and general human rights groups, but only two people turned up.

Human Rights Watch World Report 2012’s chapter on Tajikistan does not mention LGBT rights at all, further evidence that human rights groups are overlooking gay rights in the region. The report does say that in general 'the human rights situation in Tajikistan remains poor'.

Homosexuality was decriminalised in Tajikistan in 1998, but the director of Equal Opportunities, Kiromidin Gulov, told the BBC that the way the majority of the public treat LGBT people has not changed. ‘In Tajikistan, despite the abolition of the article [against homosexuality] in the criminal code, homophobia remains a very big problem. Obvious cases of discrimination are beating, rape, robbery. Gays and lesbians do not go to the police for fear of publicity and blackmail,’ he said in a BBC interview in April last year.

A joint report from Equal Opportunities and the Kyrgyzstan-based gay rights group Labrys said: ‘sexual and physical violence against gay and bisexual men perpetrated by the police… [in the respective countries] is very common,” and that many gay people flee for Russia or Kazakstan.

A 42-year-old woman in the capital Dushanbe told IWPR that she disliked gays. ‘If my child turned out like that, I would reject him,’ she said.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

Spanish football club release new rainbow shirt to fight homophobia

Spanish football club release new rainbow shirt to fight homophobia

Club will give €7 to seven charities for every shirt sold
No thumbnail available

'Very sorry' soap star who plays gay on Days of Our Lives avoids jail time in drunk driving accident

Freddie Smith's girlfriend was seriously injured in crash but she wrote letter to judge supporting her man
No thumbnail available

Brian Dowling to host National Diversity Awards

Gay presenter of Big Brother to host awards celebrating diversity 
No thumbnail available

Spain grants speedy asylum to Russian gay rights advocate

Russian gay and political activist Alexey Kiselyov was granted a fast-track political asylum in Spain for being thereanted with imprisonment over Moscow protests
No thumbnail available

Sexual harassment and sex trade plagues annual transgender festival in India

Hundreds of transgender women were in Koovagam, Tamil Nadu for the festival but sexual harassment and sex trade is degrading the celebration
No thumbnail available

Hong Kong lawmaker calls for gays to be allowed to donate blood

Opposition lawmaker Raymond Chan Chi-chuen has called on the Hong Kong Red Cross to change its rules so that gay men can donate as the group struggles to find new donors
No thumbnail available

Matt Damon says he and Michael Douglas nailed doggie style sex scene in one take

Oscar winners play Liberace and his young lover in new HBO flick
No thumbnail available

Why Patrick Wilson was cast as gay man in film co-starring Matt Bomer who played straight

Jack Plotnick didn't care who was gay or straight when casting Space Station 76
No thumbnail available

Stephen Fry to marry 27-year-old boyfriend Elliott Spencer

'I’m very very happy but had hoped for a private wedding. Fat chance!'
No thumbnail available

Three arrested in New York City for an anti-gay attack

The two gay men were walking in Brooklyn when the suspects started yelling homophobic slurs