Kyrgyzstan’s Anti-LGBT Vigilantism
Caught in the orbit of Russia’s anti-LGBT political campaigns, Kyrgyzstan has seen increases in the persecution of its LGBT citizens as the former Soviet state’s realignment with Russia has led to the adoption of some of its most socially conservative policies. Much as in Russia, nationalism and anti-LGBT sentiment have gone hand in hand, with LGBT rights construed by reactionary nationalists as Western encroachment on Kyrgyz values and sovereignty. Amidst a floundering economy, anti-NGO and anti-LGBT bills have found significant support in Kyrgyzstan’s parliament, and though they have yet to be signed into law, police and citizens have used them as excuses to target the LGBT community and antagonize the few advocacy organizations that exist. Coda Story highlights Kyrgyzstan’s politicized homophobia and the stories of victims’ suffering under police extortion and indifference, sexual assault, and relentless threats.
“‘We’ll cut off your head’: open season for LGBT attacks in Kyrgyzstan” (Coda Story via The Guardian)
“Kyrgyzstan’s NGO and LGBT Crackdown” (The Diplomat, March 2016)
“LGBT advocates from Kyrgyzstan visit D.C.” (Washington Blade, March 2016)
“Kyrgyz Group Wrecks Day Against Homophobia” (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, May 2015)
“Kyrgyzstan’s Anti-Gay Bill: Just Following in Russia’s Footsteps?” (EurasiaNet, October 2014)
(Image Credit: Andrew North/Coda Story, via The Guardian)