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Uzbekistan: Between homophobia and anal tests, LGBT people are invisible

Adapted from Il Grande Colibrì

In Uzbekistan, the lives of LGBTQIA + people are perpetually under attack. A confirmation of this is the testimony of a human rights activist who, for obvious reasons of privacy and security, preferred to remain anonymous. It is too dangerous to come out in a country that considers homosexuality a crime punishable by jail and that uses anal tests to "prove" the guilt of suspects. The real risk is that of being victims of the same horrible treatment that happened to Miraziz Bazarov, an LGBTQIA + activist who, for daring to criticize the decisions of the central government, found himself at the center of a smear campaign that culminated in a violent beating.

Unfortunately, the situation of Bazarov is not an isolated case and is a part of the wider range of violence and discrimination of which local sexual minorities are victims on a daily basis. "Activism and the protection of LGBTQIA + rights are almost impossible in the country" underlined the young Uzbek activist in his testimony on Washington Blade, adding that he is particularly concerned about the total lack of support and protection services in favor of the sexual minorities of the Central Asian country. On the contrary, the law seems to encourage and guarantee humiliation and cruelty towards LGBTQIA + people, who, as the activist says, "in Uzbekistan They cannot have protection or rights".


The lack of support from civil society makes the existence of sexual minorities even more painful and complicated. "People are used to thinking that if you help the LGBTQIA + community, then you are necessarily part of it and should be punished" the young man interviewed added with despair.

To further embitter the activist are also the many, too many broken promises. In the inauguration of Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev new government had in fact announced his intention to bring about radical changes in all areas, especially as regards human rights. It goes without saying that, five years after that oath and despite repeated warnings from international organizations, the promised improvements have not arrived at all. It is the fault of the central government, of course, but also of the international community, which according to the activist is not doing enough to convince the Central Asian country to initiate an extremely urgent change.

Pictures: Justice for Journalist, Institute for war and peace reporting

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