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'Gay' Carved Into Man's Body in Kyrgyzstan Attack

Kyrgyzstan

This was the second attack on the bisexual man in one month, leading him to flee the country.

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A bisexual man has fled his home country of Kyrgyzstan after being the victim of two homophobic attacks in a month.

The man, identified only by the initials A.D., told PinkNews this week that the attacks occurred in November, and that in the second one, assailants carved the word "gay" into his stomach.

In the first incident, in early November, A.D. was leaving the home of a friend, identified as A.A., who hugged him outside the home as A.D. waited for a taxi. Three men then approached and abducted them, taking them to an isolated area and beating them.

"They beat us mostly in the kidneys, stomach, and legs with batons, and they left," A.D. told PinkNews. He reported the assault to police, which left his friend fearful of retaliation, possibly even by law enforcement, who are known to target LGBTQ people for extortion.

Then, on November 19, A.D. was on his way home when he was approached by a man in a black car who claimed to a police officer. He insisted that A.D. come with him to identify the suspects in the first attack. A.D. got into the car, where another man was waiting, and the two took him not to the police station but to the edge of town (the city's name was not included in the PinkNews report).

"They told me to get out of the car and started insulting me saying, 'You damn gay, how dare [you] write a statement, don't you understand that no one will not help you, you are a shame for the whole society.' They said when me and A.A. die, nobody will bury us like [everyone else]," A.D. told the site.

They began beating him and pouring vodka down his throat. The next thing he knew, he awakened in a hospital in great pain. His stomach was bandaged, and the staff told him the assailants had carved "gay" into the skin there. The staff seemed averse to caring for him, so A.D.'s mother transferred him to a private clinic.

He has now left Kyrgyzstan - his new location was not disclosed in the story - and hopes to bring attention to what both he and human rights groups say is rampant homophobia in the nation.

"I want the evil leaders of our country to be ashamed of the fact that they cannot protect the rights of citizens of their country. They caused us pain that we will never forget. Even if we die I want to be heard," he said.

A 2016 survey of LGBTQ Kyrgyzstan residents found that 96 percent of respondents had experienced psychological violence, 88 percent had endured physical violence, and 35 percent had suffered sexual violence, PinkNews reports.

"[Kyrgyz society's] expectation is that you are heterosexual and cisgender. It's extremely difficult if you do not conform to these expectations, you risk losing your family," Anna Kirey, deputy director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia at Amnesty International, told the site. Anti-LGBTQ forces have been emboldened by the law against gay "propaganda" in neighboring Russia, she said.

She added that there is a chance for progress - some LGBTQ residents who reported police abuse have received compensation. "Things are moving forward even if the violence isn't going away," she said.

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring, The Advocate's copy chief, has spent much of her journalistic career covering the LGBT movement. When she's not fielding questions about grammar, spelling, and LGBT history, she's sharing movie trivia or classic rock lyrics.
Trudy Ring, The Advocate's copy chief, has spent much of her journalistic career covering the LGBT movement. When she's not fielding questions about grammar, spelling, and LGBT history, she's sharing movie trivia or classic rock lyrics.