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Kyrgyzstan: Arson attack on the office of LGBTI organisation Labrys

On 3 April 2015, two unknown men attempted to set fire to the office of LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex) organisation Labrys in Bishkek.

Labrys is a grassroots platform for the advancement and protection of the human rights of LGBTI people in Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia. It promotes equal rights, justice and non-discrimination for LGBTI communities.

On 3 April 2015, at approximatively 10.30 pm, two unknown men threw 3 bottles filled with explosives at the office of Labrys in an attempt to set fire to the building. The attempt was unsuccessful, and the equipment and documents of the organisation were undamaged. The attack was recorded on CCTV security cameras. Activists of the organisation have decided against initiating an investigation with the national law enforcement agencies, as a result of the trend of attacks against LGBTI communities reportedly orchestrated by policing agencies themselves. This incident is the latest act in a history of intimidation against Labrys and its activists, which has included death threats against members of the organisation, and stones being thrown at the Labrys office.

Hostility towards the LGBTI community within Kyrgyzstan has increased significantly following the draft law introducing criminal and administrative liability for the “promotion of non-traditional sexual relations in open or indirect way,” which was adopted in its first reading by the Kyrgyzstan Parliament on 15 October 2014. The first anti-LGBT draft amendments in Kyrgyzstan were presented in March 2014, following anti-LGBT gatherings next to the US embassy.

Front Line Defenders expresses its grave concern at the attack on the office of Labrys, which it believes to be solely motivated by its work in defence of human rights within Kyrgyzstan, and at the increasing persecution of the LGBTI community within the country.

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