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Stop criminalizing us: Uzbekistan LGBTIs in plea to president

Stop criminalizing us: Uzbekistan LGBTIs in plea to president

The LGBTI community in Uzbekistan have sent an emotional plea to their president asking for changes to the country’s laws.

LGBTI activists in the Central Asian country have reported an increase in anti-LGBTI attacks and human rights violations.

So they wrote to President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to ask him to take action.

‘Today, a conservative and homophobic society puts video recordings on social networks, which depict, catch, humiliate and beat members of the LGBT community. In addition, there are reports in online publications that people are being jailed for homosexuality,’ they wrote in the letter.

A LGBTI activist who wanted to remain anonymous told Ozodlik that they appealed to the president in a clinical and rational way to highlight the plight of the community.

‘Now there are increased cases of hunting of LGBT people. There are many cases when people detain gays or lesbians to demanded money in exchange for silence about their sexual orientation,’ he said.

‘We’re trying to find the humiliated and lynched people in order to give them at least some psychological support.’

Homosexuality is ‘vulgar’, according to Uzbekistan president

It unlikely President Mirziyoyev will heed their concerns.

In 2016, his predecessor Islam Karimov described homosexuality as a ‘vulgar’ concept imported from the West.

We talk about so-called Western culture. We call it vulgar culture. You know what I mean. It’s inappropriate even to speak about this in front of women. When men live with men and women live with women, I think there must be something wrong up here,’ he said at the time.

‘Something is broken here. There is a saying: When God wants to reveal someone’s vulgarity, he first takes his reason away.’

Sex between men is outlawed in Uzbekistan with those convicted facing up to three years in jail.

LGBTI people also have no legal protections or anti-discrimination laws in Uzbekistan. The country does not recognize same-sex couples or allow them to adopt.