Uzbekistan: Gay Couple Arrested for Engaging in Illegal Relations
Two gay men have been arrested in Uzbekistan and face charges of engaging in illegal sexual relations. The incident is a rare example of enforcement of the law banning consensual sexual relations between men.
According to city police, 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.
This stance was given official sanction under the late President Islam Karimov, who remarked in February 2016 that same-sex relationships were a “vile phenomenon of Western culture.”
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