How Russia and the West boosted Kyrgyz anti-gay violence

76 CRIMES

Commentary

Attempted arson at Labrys headquarters on April 3, 2015. (Photo courtesy of Labrys) Attempted arson at Labrys headquarters on April 3, 2015. (Photo courtesy of Labrys)

By Tom Ana

In April, Kyrgyzstan’s only LGBTI advocacy group, Labrys, became the target of an anonymous arson attack. The incident, although one of the most serious attacks in the group’s history, fortunately resulted in no injuries and only very minor damage.

Anti-homophobia graphic from Labrys Anti-homophobia graphic from Labrys

That event was the latest in a growing list of violent attacks on the LGBTI community that Labrys says have become increasingly common since the government’s introduction of homophobic legislation in late 2014.

That bill, which would outlaw the promotion of “non-traditional forms of sexual relations,” would strip activists of their power to campaign on LGBTI issues and has severely impacted already heavily marginalised individuals within the LGBTI community.

The bill garnered significant attention when it was proposed, in part because of its strong connection to the Kremlin’s notorious “gay…

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