Uzbekistan politician wants LGBT people deported
An Uzbekistan leader of a major political party, Alisher Kadyrov, has called for the revocation of the citizenship of LGBT people in their country and deporting them.
Kadyrov heads Milliy Tiklanish, or the National Revival Party, which favors tradition and family values.
Presently, sex between men is still illegal in that country and is punishable with up to three years in prison.
Deporting the LGBT people of Uzbekistan
In an interview last June 7 on the Alter Ego YouTube channel, Kadyrov said withdrawing the citizenship of LGBT people in their country would force them to go to other countries as refugees.
“When I put forward this proposal on social networks, up to 100 LGBT people got in touch with me and agreed with what I had said,” Kadyrov said.
He added, “They said that they cannot get visas from those countries that condemn Uzbekistan for its attitude towards LGBT people.”
Describing this solution as a compassionate gesture, he further said the public would never– “even after 1,000 years”– change its mind about LGBT issues even though the country is undergoing a process of social change.
“LGBT people are targeted with violence, but I do not support that,” he said. “I believe that this is a provocation.”
Uzbekistan leaders and the LGBT community
Milliy Tiklanish, which Kadyrov had led since May 2019, is one of the five parties allowed to exist in Uzbekistan. It’s also one of the second largest bloc in the lower house of parliament.
However, their legislature is generally regarded as perfunctory as the lawmakers have shown little to no initiative in coming up with actual policy.
As of the present, the Uzbekistani government has refused calls by international rights groups to remove the article in the criminal code that penalizes same-sex relations between men.
While a government representative has said that there “no laws on the books restricting” employment or health care for the LGBT community, the Human Rights Watch has said this was not true.
In a report published last March wherein they interviewed people, the community faced “arbitrary arrests, threats, extortion, psychological pressure, and physical attacks by both police and non-state actors for being gay.”
Violence against the LGBT community
Anti-LGBT protests have turned violent in Uzbekistan, especially after laws were passed banning the publication of content that would be disrespectful of society and the state.
However, human rights groups said this laws would block media or online commentators from pushing for the decriminalization of sexual conduct between men.
A popular blogger and critic, Miraziz Bazarov, had been beaten by a group of masked men and hospitalized. Bazarov had been actively supporting LGBT rights.
Likewise, the LGBT community in Uzbekistan told the Guardian on the condition of anonymity that the protests, together with the revealing of their identities on social media, have left them fearful for their lives.
Mihra Rittmann, senior central Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch, said “it’s critical that Uzbekistan’s leadership unequivocally condemn such violence, and for authorities to hold perpetrators accountable.”