Tag Archives: Bishkek

Kyrgyzstan Feature | LGBT

The Expanding Insecurity of Kyrgyzstan’s LGBT Community

Bishkek, long viewed as a relatively liberal haven not only in Kyrgyzstan but within the largely conservative Central Asia region, has seen an increase in political and social hostility towards its LGBT community. As in other parts of Eurasia, Kyrgyzstan has witnessed a resurgence in far-right ultra-nationalism and an attendant conflation of LGBT rights with Western encroachment on Kyrgyz culture, leading to increased attacks on the Kyrgyz LGBT community. Similar to other Eurasian nations, legislation has been proposed to limit information access about the LGBT community, and the shuttering of Bishek’s last remaining gay club has left the LGBT Kyrgyzstanis with few opportunities for safe communal socializing.

Read

‘All of us will be victims at some point’: why Bishkek’s only gay club closed” (The Guardian | October 2017)

Curtain Falls On Bishkek’s Lone LGBT Club Amid Worsening Atmosphere” (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty | June 2017)

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Kyrgyzstan Feature | LGBT

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.

Read:
‘We’ll cut off your head’: open season for LGBT attacks in Kyrgyzstan” (Coda Story via The Guardian)

Additional reading:
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)

Resources:
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(Image Credit: Andrew North/Coda Story, via The Guardian)

Kyrgyzstan Feature | People with Disabilities

The Uphill Battle for Accessibility

Estimated to be 160,000 in strength, Kyrgyzstan’s disability community has long faced domestic confinement, public misinformation and shaming, and structural exclusion due to lack of governmental and business commitment to accessible spaces and protocols. Recently, around 300 took to the streets of Bishkek, the capital, for an annual march in support of increased accessibility in the country. EurasiaNet takes a look at the obstacles and initial victories that are driving the community to push forward.

Read more:
Kyrgyzstan: Disabled Battle for Acceptance and Access” (EurasiaNet)

(Image Credit: EurasiaNet)