Tajik authorities made a list of LGBT people under the pretext of fighting HIV
Tajik authorities made a list of LGBT people identified by police during the operations "Morality" and "Сleansing", Ozodi radio reports. There are 319 gay men and 48 lesbians on the list. "Вelonging to sex minorities has been proven and all of them are now registered," the Prosecutor General's Office of the Republic of Tajikistan reports.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Tajikistan declined to comment the report. However, a representative from the authorities who had worked on the LGBT list, anonimously told Ozodi radio that this list was made because LGBT people "are like prostitutes, they are at highest risk of HIV infection, because they change sexual partners quite often and practice unsafe sex".
"Gay men and lesbians shouldn't provoke conflicts. We know that conflicts with representatives of sex minorities can cause a tragedy because our society has zero tolerance towards gays and lesbians," an anonymous source said.
"Such police operations can't stop HIV transmitting among men who have sex with men, but can make the situation even more dangerous. Instead of going to medical services and HIV prevention programs, MSM will be just more afraid and will hide. It's much more risky for themselves and their partners - not only men, but also their wives. To fight the epidemic, people need more support, not repressions. Actually I guess that these measures are not what they seem. It is widely known that the Tajik police is corrupted and used to blackmail MSM. So all these operations have nothing to do with the fight against HIV," said human rights activist and anthropologist Anya Sarang, who studied gender identity in Tajikistan.
Same-sex sexual activity was decriminalized in Tajikistan since 1998. However, LGBT people still face social stigma and staunch homophobic violence.