This is Tajikistan. Bend over

Authorities in Tajikistan have drawn up a list of 367 allegedly gay citizens, saying they would be required to undergo testing to avoid “the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases”.

A police source told Agence France Press that “strict medical records” were needed for members of the gay community because “such people have a high risk of contracting sexually-transmitted infections through infectious diseases.”

Homosexuality is not banned in Tajikistan but is frowned upon.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/17/tajikistan-gay-lesbian-register-medical-checks

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What’s hot in Jakarta

Indonesian police detained 58 men including several foreigners in a raid on a gay sauna, the latest sign of a backlash against homosexuals in the Muslim-majority country.

They raided a sauna and gym in the capital Jakarta after they received information from the public that it was being used for prostitution.

“We secured 51 and seven employees for allegedly providing pornographic services,” Jakarta Police spokesman Argo Yuwono said in a statement.
Six foreigners were among those detained, including four men from China, one from Thailand and one from Holland.

Yuwono said six of those detained would be charged under Indonesia’s anti-pornography law, and could face up to six years in prison. It is not clear what – if anything – the remaining 52 would be charged with.

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/indonesian-police-arrest-58-men-in-raid-on-gay-sauna-9289614

Azerbaijan starts de-gaying

Human Rights Watch notes:

Authorities in Azerbaijan are not denying that gay men in Baku have been rounded up in official raids, from mid-September, they are just disputing the reason. Ehsan Zahidov, spokesman for the Ministry of Internal Affairs, said in a September interview with EurasiaNet.org that police were responding to complaints from residents in Baku that gay men were visible on the streets.

Government officials have also justified the Baku raids in the language of public health, claiming that the gay men arrested were tested for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV and Syphilis. “Those who have diseases are being isolated from society,” Zahidov said. The director of the AIDS Center of Azerbaijan, Natig Zulfugarov, points out that it would be against the law for the police to do so without a court order, which they did not have.

In Azerbaijan, homosexuality was decriminalised in 2000. You’d never know, would you.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/09/29/familiar-rhetoric-anti-gay-raids-azerbaijan

India’s sham shame

The Times of India looks into why so many gay Indian men are going into sham marriages.

Marriages of convenience are clandestine part of South Asian gay culture — a homosexual man and woman decide to tie the knot to stave off questions from nosy families or find protection from the law in countries like India where homosexuality is a criminal offence. In India, the Delhi high court decriminalised homosexuality (Section 377) in 2009, but the Supreme Court overturned the ruling four years later.

In 2015, a lesbian couple from China launched a smartphone app iHomo to facilitate marriages of convenience or ‘cooperative marriages’ between gay men and lesbians. But in more conservative India, the LGBT community looks for MoCs on private Facebook groups, chat rooms and Craigslist.

There is still a huge stigma attached to being gay in India. Many Indian parents prefer not to admit that their child is gay, and hope he or she ‘will grow out of it’ once married.

In a marriage of convenience, terms are agreed beforehand, so both sides know what they are getting into – but problems often emerge later.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/why-gay-men-are-seeking-a-marriage-of-convenience/articleshow/60811116.cms

No gay parties allowed in Malaysia, says deputy Prime Minister

An announcement that a gay event would be held in Kuala Lumpur on Sept 30 to promote “White Party Bangkok”, the biggest annual gay music festival in Asia, has caused quite a stink.

The Deputy Prime Minister said the Malaysian Government will not allow the gay event or party planned for Sept 30 to take place. The organiser had yet to apply for a permit for the event or party but he had instructed the police not to approve the gathering. “If such a party or event is held, then it is an illegal gathering,” he said to Malaysian journalists on Thursday.

http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/09/21/zahid-government-wont-allow-any-gay-party-in-malaysia/

Gay people flee Ukraine

The United Nations reports on the Ukraine, where they found that gay men are fleeing for their lives.

When Viktor (not his real name), a 27-year-old gay man, opened his door to police one morning, he knew his secret was out.

His claims of having a girlfriend met with scorn – one of his neighbours had told them everything. Unless Viktor could present the woman within 24 hours or pay a bribe he could not afford, he would be arrested.

Panicked, he packed a bag. By the evening, he was gone.

Many LGBTI people face stigma, harassment and violent attacks. In some cases, home has become such a terrifying place that the only option is to leave.

“It is not easy to be LGBTI in the East,” says a shelter director, Olena Shevchenko. “They can beat you, they can rape you. It’s not possible to be open, because you’re never sure what will happen next. You need to lead a hidden life.”

To Your Activist what is happening to gay men in parts of the world is little more than Ethnic Cleansing.

http://www.unhcr.org/news/stories/2017/9/597ef1fc4/gay-displaced-frontlines-ukraines-conflict.html

Pride in Nepal

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Today | Uncredited photographer | Agence France Press | 17148

Nepal’s gay community marched through Kathmandu today, in an annual pride parade timed to coincide with the Hindu festival of Gai Jatra, which honours people who have died.

The gay community uses the festival to call attention to its demands for equal rights. About 1,500 people took part in the parade, paying tribute to members of LGBTI community who had died in 2017.

“Every year we celebrate a pride festival to show that we want to be recognised in this society with our different identity, that we are a part of this society,” said Pinky Gurung, president of the Blue Diamond Society, which is a gay rights organisation in Nepal.

Nepal has some of South Asia’s most progressive laws on homosexuality and transgender rights, but members of the community continue to face discrimination and live on the margins of society.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-4771494/Nepal-hosts-gay-pride-parade-demanding-equal-rights.html

Chengdu conference cancelled without good reason

Organizers of the Speak Out conference in Chengdu, China had to scrap the event this week, the second time in as many months a public seminar aimed at expanding awareness of LGBT issues has run into snags.

The conference was due to be held on July 23, but the venue canceled the booking, citing conflicting events.

Many people were surprised by the cancellation. Many young Chinese people regard Chengdu as “gaydu”, or “the city of the gays”, due to its liberal views.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-lgbt-idUSKBN1A616B

Yu did it

A gay man in central China, Mr Yu, has damages from a psychiatric hospital over forced “gay cure” conversion therapy. In China it is the first such victory for the LGBT rights movement which is gradually emerging in the country.

A court in Zhumadian ordered a city psychiatric hospital to publish an apology in local newspapers and pay the 38-year old man 5,000 yuan – £570 – in compensation.

Mr Yu had been forcibly admitted to the hospital in 2015 by his wife and relatives. He was diagnosed with “sexual preference disorder” and forced to take medicine and receive injections. He walked free after 19 days.

China removed homosexuality from its list of recognised mental illnesses more than 15 years ago but it is reported that families do admit their relatives for conversion therapy.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/04/chinese-man-wins-forced-gay-conversion-therapy-lawsuit

Singapore turned pink

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CNN | 17131

Thousands of Singaporeans on Saturday rallied for gay rights at the annual Pink Dot celebration, despite a new government policy banning foreigners from participating.

Pink Dot, which plays on Singapore’s “Little Red Dot” nickname, is a non-profit organisation set up to promote LGBT equality in Singapore which has held an annual celebration for the last eight years.

Pink was chosen because it is the mix of the colors of Singapore’s national flag – red and white. Pink Dot stands for an open, inclusive society.

Under Singapore law, sex between men is punishable by up to two years in jail.

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/07/01/asia/singapore-gay-pride-rally/index.html