The leader of one of Uzbekistan’s largest political parties has told a popular YouTube channel that Tashkent can put a stop to its societal issues with LGBT people by deporting them to nations where they will feel more at home.
Alisher Kadyrov, who heads the right-wing ‘National Revival’ party, even claimed to the Alter Ego channel that his proposal was met with approval by members of the country’s LGBT community and attempted to portray his idea as an empathetic gesture towards a marginalized group.
“Uzbeks can modernize. They can change their worldview,” Kadyrov explained. “But to accept sodomy, or a man marrying a man? Uzbek society will never accept that. Even in a hundred years, or a thousand years, society will not accept LGBT people. I’m sure of it.”
According to Kadyrov, LGBT Uzbeks should not have to live in a country where they are not accepted and are poorly treated by the general populace.
“The decision [to expel LGBT people] is a global practice,” He told the YouTube channel. “Twenty-six countries use expulsion measures against members of the LGBT community. In Iran or Saudi Arabia, for example, they execute them.”
“I’m not in favor of executing them, I’m not in favor of killing them, I’m just suggesting that we help them,” he continued. “Why put them at such a risk? Let’s better create such conditions for them. Uzbekistan will expel them, and other states will have to give them citizenship. They will have a better life there. I am not bloodthirsty.”
The politician claimed that, after he proposed forced expulsion, many members of the country’s LGBT community wrote to him in support of the decision.
“They reached out to me and said it’s the right thing to do,” he said. “If we pass such a law, won’t it help these people?”
Uzbek law prohibits consensual same-sex sexual activity, with men facing a three-year jail term if convicted. There are also no anti-discrimination laws or provisions allowing same-sex marriage.
In March this year, the American NGO Human Rights Watch published a report asserting that Uzbekistan is failing to protect its LGBT citizens and should move towards guaranteeing rights “to personal security, privacy, and nondiscrimination.”
“Men in Uzbekistan who engage in consensual same-sex sexual conduct face arbitrary detention, prosecution, and imprisonment as well as homophobia, threats, and extortion,” the NGO said.
Earlier this year, pro-LGBT blogger Miraziz Bazarov, who himself is not gay, was beaten up by a mob in a seemingly homophobic attack that left him with a broken leg.
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