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Thread: Plight of LGBTs in ex-USSR

  1. #1
    The Un-Holy One The Man's Avatar
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    Plight of LGBTs in ex-USSR

    BAKU -- Niko, a 27-year-old gay epileptic from Baku, recalls being beaten, tortured with electric shocks, and raped by four police officers who detained him during a crackdown on homosexuals in Azerbaijan.

    “They raped me anally and orally,” says Niko, who asks that his real name not be used because he fears for his life. “The police forced me to swallow their sperm.”

    Then, he says, he was raped with a police truncheon.

    “They rammed the truncheon in my anus and I had an epileptic seizure,” Niko says. “I don’t remember what happened after that. When I woke up, I wasn’t even able to walk.”

    For the next 10 days, Niko remained in custody, where he says the torture continued.

    After his release in late September, he spent nearly two months trying to stay out of the sight of police who knew about his sexual orientation.

    But by mid-November, Niko says, he had been victimized four more times by police officers extorting bribes from him or forcing him to perform oral sex in order to avoid being charged again with "refusing police orders."

    Still recovering from shock, he tells RFE/RL about his desperation to leave Azerbaijan and start a new life elsewhere.

    International human rights groups say Azerbaijan’s crackdown echoes similar roundups during 2017 in Russia’s North Caucasus region of Chechnya.

    In both places, suspected homosexuals were detained, brutally abused, and forced to name other gays who, in many cases, received similar treatment as the crackdowns widened.

    Amnesty International says it thinks about 100 homosexuals were rounded up in Azerbaijan’s operation during the last half of September, which the government said was necessary to contain sexually transmitted diseases and improve “morality.”

    In Chechnya, the rights group says, well over 100 people were detained and tortured, and at least three were killed. Chechnya’s government denies the roundups ever happened there.

    But Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW) say evidence of the Chechnya operations is undeniable -- with reports of the violence shocking the world.

    Niko tells RFE/RL he was “really shaken” last spring when he first heard about Chechnya’s crackdown.

    "I felt really terrible,” he says. “There was a sudden fear in my heart. But I didn’t think it would happen in Azerbaijan to the same extent. I never imagined the recent crackdown here could be that brutal."

    Growing Repression, Violence

    Rights groups say the increased repression and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in former Soviet republics has been encouraged by Russia’s 2013 law criminalizing the distribution to minors of “distorted ideas about the equal social value of traditional and nontraditional sexual relationships.”

    In October, in the Samara region on Russia's Volga River, 27-year-old LGBT rights activist Yevdokia Romanova was convicted and fined under what critics have dubbed the "gay propaganda” law -- despite a June ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) that the legislation violates the European Convention on Human Rights.

    Romanova had posted links on social media to the website of a LGBT rights youth coalition and Western reports on the LGBT movement -- including a BuzzFeed article about an LGBT-rights protest in St. Petersburg.

    Denis Krivosheyev, Amnesty International’s deputy director for Europe and Central Asia, describes Romanova’s case as “a sad illustration of the desperate circumstances currently faced” by LGBT activists in Russia.

    “Even the simple freedom to share an online story with friends is now limited by legislation that is blatantly discriminatory and homophobic,” Krivosheyev says.

    Krivosheyev tells RFE/RL that the 2013 law initially encouraged a wave of homophobic attacks across Russia that, by 2017, had spread to other former Soviet republics in the form of official crackdowns, discrimination, and mob violence.

    In Uzbekistan, where homosexuality is a crime, self-declared “vigilantes” have posed on social media to win the trust of gay men and lure them to meeting places.

    Erbulat, a gay friend of the victim of one attack that was recorded and posted online by a homophobic gang, tells RFE/RL there have been many similar attacks recently against homosexuals in Uzbekistan but victims are scared to call police.

    "I also was attacked, threatened, and humiliated in such a video," Erbulat says. "I barely escaped them alive. But if I had reported that to the police, they would have laughed at me. They're homophobes, too."

    Although Tajikistan rescinded its Soviet-era law against homosexuality in 1998, its government continues to subject gay men to discrimination and rights abuses. It also has forced groups that defend gay rights to stop operating.

    In October, the Tajik Prosecutor-General’s Office announced it had compiled a list of what it said were 367 gay men and women in the country “in order to protect their safety and to prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases.”

    But Firuz, a 30-year-old gay man from Dushanbe, tells RFE/RL the LGBT community fears Tajikistan’s “gay registry” will be used for future crackdowns like those in Chechnya and Azerbaijan.

    “The government’s mind-set is above the law in this situation. They answer only to themselves,” says Firuz, who was added to the registry and underwent forced medical examinations after he was detained during a police raid on a Dushanbe nightclub.

    Amnesty International also says groups that defend LGBT rights are facing a rise in hostility in parts of the former Soviet Union, fueled by discrimination, homophobia, and what it describes as Russia’s crusade against “nontraditional sexual relationships.”

    In a December 22 report, the global human rights watchdog said LGBT rights groups in Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan were facing an “increasingly discriminatory environment” due to “the extent of Russian influence and the reach of its media.”
    Much more: Gays Hide, Flee Ex-Soviet Republics As LGBT Crackdowns Turn Brutal

  2. #2
    Galactic Ruler Spookycolt's Avatar
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    Plight?

    A plight is something you can't get away from.

    Simply not being homosexual will easily avoid all of these horrible things.

    So yes its against their rights and horrible but I'd hardly call it a plight since it could easily be avoided if one wishes to.

  3. #3
    The Un-Holy One The Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spookycolt View Post
    Plight?

    A plight is something you can't get away from.

    Simply not being homosexual will easily avoid all of these horrible things.

    So yes its against their rights and horrible but I'd hardly call it a plight since it could easily be avoided if one wishes to.
    If you are, say, an impoverished person from Uzbekistan, and you happen to be gay, what can you do? Stay home, and face persecution. Or, at best, go to Russia with the migrant workers. And, if you are outed there, also face persecution from local Russian vigilantes or worse from your own people if they hand you back to them...

    Or, you can simply, as you say, restrain yourself and try to live, by force, as a heterosexual.

    How would you feel if someone forced you to engage in gay sex? That's how a gay person feels if has to have straight sex against his choice. It's not a good life, man...
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    Galactic Ruler Spookycolt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Man View Post
    If you are, say, an impoverished person from Uzbekistan, and you happen to be gay, what can you do? Stay home, and face persecution. Or, at best, go to Russia with the migrant workers. And, if you are outed there, also face persecution from local Russian vigilantes or worse from your own people if they hand you back to them...

    Or, you can simply, as you say, restrain yourself and try to live, by force, as a heterosexual.

    How would you feel if someone forced you to engage in gay sex? That's how a gay person feels if has to have straight sex against his choice. It's not a good life, man...
    If the situation were reversed I would tell you what I would do.

    I wouldn't go within 20 ft. of a female.

    Sex is great but its not worth a beatdown.

    lol

    And are you trying to tell us that they are going around making guys have sex with women to prove they're not gay?

    I highly doubt it.

    Besides, your link specifically said "activists".

    Now if they choose to face that to fight for their cause then more power to them but I sure as hell wouldn't.

    Not over something like sexuality anyways.

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    Mr. Man,

    I tell you what, those whacky Muslims and their whacky ideas.

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    Moderator HCProf's Avatar
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    Sounds like the LE in the article need to self examine and reflect on what their sexual orientation is. Good grief that article was gruesome. I can't believe it is illegal to be gay in Russia.
    Thanks from The Man

  7. #7
    The Un-Holy One The Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spookycolt View Post
    If the situation were reversed I would tell you what I would do.

    I wouldn't go within 20 ft. of a female.

    Sex is great but its not worth a beatdown.

    lol

    And are you trying to tell us that they are going around making guys have sex with women to prove they're not gay?

    I highly doubt it.

    Besides, your link specifically said "activists".

    Now if they choose to face that to fight for their cause then more power to them but I sure as hell wouldn't.

    Not over something like sexuality anyways.
    I agree. I respect those are people, they are very brave IMHO

    Quote Originally Posted by Kallie Knoetze View Post
    Mr. Man,

    I tell you what, those whacky Muslims and their whacky ideas.
    This has nothing to do with Islam. Russians aren't Muslim. And those Central Asian republics and Azerbaijan are all ruled by viciously secular dictatorships, where mosques are shut down and imams arrested for preaching anything the government disagrees with. In most of those countries, women are banned from wearing hijab in public. Among other things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Man View Post
    I agree. I respect those are people, they are very brave IMHO



    This has nothing to do with Islam. Russians aren't Muslim. And those Central Asian republics and Azerbaijan are all ruled by viciously secular dictatorships, where mosques are shut down and imams arrested for preaching anything the government disagrees with. In most of those countries, women are banned from wearing hijab in public. Among other things.
    Mr. Man,

    Hmmm, yet those countries are 98% Muslim.

  9. #9
    The Un-Holy One The Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kallie Knoetze View Post
    Mr. Man,

    Hmmm, yet those countries are 98% Muslim.
    Only nominally. Majority of the people there had any religious fervor long since beaten out of them by decades of Soviet rule lol

  10. #10
    Galactic Ruler Spookycolt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Man View Post
    Only nominally. Majority of the people there had any religious fervor long since beaten out of them by decades of Soviet rule lol
    Sounds like that is what they are still doing in a way.

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