Presenter Given Two Years In Jail For Being Gay

A court in Turkmenistan has sentenced a famous entertainer, presenter and performer (named only by his initials G. S.) to two years in jail on sodomy charges. 

The sentence was passed on 7 May but has only now become widely known.

According to Turkmen.news, several other men were also sentenced alongside the performer, though exactly how many was not stated. All are said to have signed confessions.

The arrests among the Turkmen show business and modelling industry elite are said to have been carried out during the second half of March. According to Turkmen.news’s sources, several of those arrested were later able to buy their own release. Some participated in the trial as witnesses.

It is also reported GS’s father is a famous Turkmen diplomat but that failed to help him.

Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan remain the only countries in Central Asia where consensual private sexual relations between adult men are criminalised.

The first gay man in Turkmenistan to come out publicly and make the issue of homosexuality in the country a topic of international discussion was Kasym Garayev. In 2019, he went missing after speaking to independent media outlets about his sexuality and the arrests, humiliations and attempts to “cure” him with the help of religious officials that he had endured. He reappeared only after international rights organisations took up his case, but then disavowed all of his previous statements, calling his public coming-out “a mistake” and assuring that everything was fine with him.

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