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Gay Couple Arrested in Uzbekistan for Engaging in “Illegal Relations”


Two gay men have been arrested in Uzbekistan and face charges of engaging in “illegal sexual relations”.

The two men, who are both in their twenties, met in early September and moved into a rented apartment in Tashkent.

Police told media last week that they conducted intrusive, forensic medical examinations to confirm that one of the men had allegedly engaged in repeated sexual intercourse. Consensual sex between men is punishable in Uzbekistan by up to three years in prison.

Potential prosecution is only the least of what gay people in Uzbekistan are liable to face in their daily life. Intimidation — up to and including brutal physical assault — is commonplace.

President Islam Karimov, who remarked in February 2016 that same-sex relationships were a “vile phenomenon of Western culture.”

“If a man lives with a man, or a woman with a women, I think that something there isn’t quite right, or some change has happened,” Karimov said.

International rights activists have appealed with the Uzbek government to repeal Article 120 of the criminal code, which criminalizes sexual relations between men.

“It is unacceptable to persecute people for the fact that they consensually engage in same-sex relations. Every person is free to determine their own relations. This incident is nothing but  a demonstrative act of discrimination toward the LGBT community and reflects the policies of the current regime,” said Nadezhda Atayeva, president of the Paris-based Association for Human Rights in Central Asia.

It has been reported that officials in Azerbaijan and Tajikistan authorities both areas of the former Soviet Union have sought to impress their conservative credentials by persecuting the LGBT community.  Both countries have recently drawn up registries of people they suspected of belonging to their country’s gay and lesbian communities as part of a purported efforts to promote sexual health and moral behavior.


Will Kohler

Will Kohler is one of America's best known LGBT historians, He is also a a accredited journalist and the owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced on such notable media venues as BBC News, CNN, MSNBC, The Washington Post, The Daily Wall Street Journal, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story. Back2Stonewall has been recently added to the Library of Congress' LGBTQ+ Studies Web Archive. Mr. Kohler is available for comment, interviews and lectures on LGBT History. Contact: Will@Back2Stonewall.com

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1 thought on “Gay Couple Arrested in Uzbekistan for Engaging in “Illegal Relations””

  1. These same ppl believe that by an examination they can tell of sexual activity? Do the medical people still use “bleeding” to remove vapors from the blood? They probably believe that an X Ray is the work of the devil too[!]

    If 2 men live together or 2 women the relationship is suspect? Not economics?
    Those countries should be reclassified as 4th world..it would take a crane and staging to get them to the level of 3rd world. I would like to know how these legislators determine what is “moral”? How many are cheating on their wives?

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