Arson attack on Kyrgyzstan LGBT centre

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The headquarters of LGBT organisation Labrys was attacked with bottles of explosives.

Kyrgyzstan is moving forward with plans to enact a “gay propaganda” law, similar to Russia’s, despite widespread condemnation from organisations around the world. Labrys say that since the law was proposed, attacks against LGBT people have increased in the country.

The organisation has been the target of treats and attacks on its building in the past, and on this occasion, several bottles full of explosives were thrown into the yard of their building in Bishkek, causing open fires. Thankfully no one was hurt.

Transgender Europe have spoken out to condemn the attacks – esepcially in light of Kyrgystan’s status as a Partner of Democracy at the Council of Europe. Such partnerships are intended to promote “further developing democracy, the rule of law and the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the country.”

Senior Policy director Richard Köhler said in a statement: “Space for civil society is shrinking in many states of the former Soviet Union. We watch this trend with growing concern, as authorities deliberately fail to protect minority groups.

“Debating homo- and transphobic laws creates the atmosphere to hunt trans and LGBTIQ people and put their lives at risk.”

Co-chair Alecks Recher says: “We expect the Kyrgyz government to clearly speak out against homo- and transphobic hatred, assert that LGBTIQ people equally belong to Kyrgyz society, and to withdraw the proposed law. The Council of Europe should do everything in its power to budge its democratic partner to ensure safety and human rights for different groups in Kyrgyz society, including LGBTIQ people.”