Kyrgyz Update From Advisor Anna Kirey

The following is from GFW Advisor, Anna Kirey, who also works with Labrys, an LBT shelter in Kyrgyzstan.

Bishkek has been looted overnight. People in Labrys shelter are safe, we still have to check on how others in our community are doing. In 2005, during a similar 'revolution' a lesbian woman was raped by the looters for her “masculine” looks. We fear that women and transgendered people may be targeted by angry drunk looters.

The new leader is Roza Otunbaeva who is one of the trusted leaders of Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan. I am excited about her leadership and have so many hopes for improvement especially in the field of human rights, women's rights and maybe even LGBT rights.

Yet it is still hard for me to believe that 40 people were killed and over 400 injured. It hurts me to know that the government of [previous] President Bakiyev chose to shoot peaceful demonstrators.

It was a long and scary night full of smoke, gun shots and cars without license plates loading and loading and loading stuff from the shops. Business owners are crying this morning and most businesses are not insured. There might still be civil unrest because there is no information about where the President of Kyrgyzstan Kurmanbek Bakiev disappeared. Some sources say that he is in the south of Kyrgyzstan mobilizing his supporters to continue fighting. There have been tensions between north and south of Kyrgyzstan historically. So it might not be over.

People are extremely frustrated with all the looting and not knowing what is going on. I wish the change in government could happen in a peaceful and non-violent way and was more gradual with thorough preparation.

I was working on preparing recommendations for the Kyrgyz government on women's rights and LGBT rights for the upcoming Universal Periodic Review. Right now I am not sure what to recommend because the agenda of the new government will be completely different but it's exciting how much more space these change may bring for women's and LGBT rights.

Anna Kirey

You can keep track of more updates on Twitter.


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