Commemorations on the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia – IDAHOT in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan by LGBTIQA NGO „Labrys“ were attacked on May 17. A crowd of aggressive men, associated with the “Kalys” and “Kirk Choro” movements, threatened and insulted the activists; one of the participants of the peaceful event was injured.
When participants were taken as witnesses to the police station they were cramped into the police car, had their hands twisted and hair pulled. Labrys reports they spent more than 5 hours at the police station without access to medical aid, toilet, water or food.
The police demanded from several participants to reveal their genital in a search for transgender people.
During the time of the stay at the police department police officers swore at and threatened the activists and refused them legal representation. Law enforcement officers showed the testimonies of the witnesses to the attackers, who attempted to note down personal information of the activists. Attitude of the police was very different to the members of the Kalys and Kirk Choro movement, as they could get up, move around the police station, to eat and drink.
At the moment a criminal case under article 234 (hooliganism) of the Criminal Code has been opened. The LGBT activists intend to appeal to the Prosecutor’s Office to review the actions of the police as to their legality.
“Not even a month ago Labrys’ office was damaged in an arson attack, signalling the rapidly shrinking space for LGBT civil society. The debate of a homo- and transphobic law in the formerly liberal Central-Asian state is the breeding ground for hate and puts trans and LGBTIQ people’s lives at risk. The law proposal needs to be withdrawn immediately and Kyrgyz authorities need to assure credibly that homo- and transphobia has no space in Kyrgyz society” explains TGEU Senior Policy Richard Köhler
“The attack is an unacceptable attack on the freedom to expression and peaceful assembly, the right to life and dignity, which all persons are entitled to. The behaviour by the police, siding with the aggressors, and denying the victims their basic rights is scandalous. Kyrgyz authorities and European institutions need to swiftly condemn the attack. The perpetrators amongst the attackers and law enforcement have to be brought to justice.” comments Alecs Recher, TGEU co-chair.
Kyrgyzstan is a member of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and a Partner for Democracy of the Council of Europe. Both intergovernmental organisations aim to ensure full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
See here for an account of the events on the website of Labrys in Russian: http://www.labrys.kg/ru/news/full/685.html
Download this statement here
See also TGEU condems arson attack on Kyrgyz LGBT Organisation (April 19)
Transgender Europe is a European human rights NGO working for the human rights and equality of all trans people. More Information: www.tgeu.org
Transgender or Trans is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity or expression differs from the sex assigned to them at birth.