Human Rights Watch have published first-hand accounts from people in China who have been subjected to forced gay conversion therapies.
Their report details 17 cases between 2009 and 2017, including verbal and mental abuse, forced medication and electric shock therapy in Chinese hospitals. 11 of those interviewed were forced to take medication without being informed about its purpose or side-effects. Five of those interviewed were subjected to electric shocks while being shown images or videos – or given verbal descriptions – of homosexual acts.
Doctors and clinics can charge up to 30,000 yuan (£3,440) to “treat” gay people.
The Independent reports that several men have come forward with firsthand accounts of the crackdown on the gay community in Azerbaijan. One of the men, who remained anonymous, said he was detained for nine days and tortured. “They gave me electric shocks,” he said in an interview with Radio Free Europe.
Dozens of gay and transgender people in Azerbaijan have been arrested, detained and forced to give up friends to authorities, according to lawyers and activists in the country, where homosexuality is supposed to be legal.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.