The only LGBT club in majority-Muslim nation Kyrgyzstan has closed following an increase in anti-LGBT abuse.
According to multiple reports, the club and its members faced increasing hostility from the majority-Muslim population of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, forcing them to close their doors.
“The weekly party, dubbed ‘London,’ was held in a gas station just outside Bishkek, which has seen several LGBT-friendly venues shuttered,” reported NewNowNext. “Attendees would knock on an old wooden door next to to the car wash to gain admittance to the Saturday night party. (Newcomers would have to be invited on the personal recommendation of regulars.) But when the garage’s owner learned his tenants were using the space for LGBT events, he shut it down.”
“The night was previously held in a restaurant. But after a mob of 30 hooligans broke in and smashed furniture and hit patrons with beer bottles, that venue’s landlord asked organizers to leave, as well,” they explained.
According to the Guardian, bar staff were injured in the attack, while on another occasion, “an assailant hit one of the founders with a bottle.”
“The problem is that people don’t understand what a gay club is,” claimed one of the club’s co-founders. “They think we are doing something pornographic. But if they came and saw that it is just a normal club, where people dance and drink, then it would be OK.”
“We will continue the night if we can find a safe space where we can run a sustainable business,” she continued. “After all, we have a responsibility – we are like mothers to this community.”
In their report, the Guardian also reported on a gay woman named “Anara,” who was gang-raped in Kyrgyzstan by eight men.
“It was a corrective gang rape,” she claimed. “They were trying to fix me.”
A recent survey performed in Kyrgyzstan revealed that 84 percent of LGBT people “had experienced physical violence, while 35 percent had been victims of sexual violence.”
“If you have your own place, or can rent an apartment, then it’s still safe to be gay here,” claimed one gay man to the Guardian. “But if you are a teenager or a student, then you have to meet people wherever you can – in parks, forests, car parks. And then it’s not going to be safe.”
Kyrgyzstan is not the only majority-Muslim nation where anti-LGBT harassment and abuse is on the rise.
This month, it was reported that Indonesia, the largest Muslim nation in the world, is considering a ban on LGBT television characters:
Although as in Egypt, homosexuality is not explicitly outlawed in Indonesia, crackdowns on homosexual activities have been on the rise.
141 men, including a British national, were arrested in Indonesia earlier this year on suspicion of having a “gay sex party.”
On Sunday, 17 men “suspected of homosexuality” were also tried in Egypt, another majority-Muslim nation.
According to Deutsche Welle, “The case is part of a wider crackdown on homosexuality,” which has prompted Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International to call on Egyptian authorities to halt their crackdown on homosexuals in the country following a recent concert in Cairo where the LGBT rainbow flag was spotted.
The two groups also urged Egyptian authorities to end the practice of “anal examinations” on suspected homosexuals, branding the practice “abhorrent” and a form of torture.
As previously reported, “The LGBT community are routinely persecuted in Muslim-majority nations, including the United Arab Emirates, Iran, and Chechnya, an autonomous, Muslim-majority province in Russia.”