Turkmen Hairstylist Arrested on Suspicion of Homosexuality
Around 30 men accused of homosexual relations are being held in the police cells in the city of Turkmenabat. Twenty of them figure in the same case, sources told turkmen.news.
A well known Turkmenabat hairdresser and stylist, who was arrested in August, is still being held in these cells, according to a source close to the law-enforcement agencies. Turkmen.news knows the identity of the hairdresser but is not making it public for ethical reasons. He is originally from Lebap region but had latterly been working in a beauty salon in Ashgabat, where he was hairdresser to the stars of Turkmen show business.
The hairdresser has lost a lot of weight. Bruises are visible on his body, and his lips and eyebrows are badly cut. He has a cellmate who has been accused under the same article. The cellmate’s psychological state gives cause for concern. He is always shouting that he cannot bear the shame and demands to be killed.
“They beat them mercilessly there, so that they admit everything and incriminate others,” the source explained to turkmen.news.
Some 20 men, accused of group sex, are also being held in the cells. Many of them work at the fire station. The police say they caught them in the act during a raid.
As well as the prisoners mentioned above, several other men assumed to be gay are being held in a different cell in the same block. There are around 30 men in all.
Article 135 of Turkmenistan’s Criminal Code carries a punishment of up to two years’ detention for consenting sexual relations between men. The article is a carbon copy of the provisions in the criminal codes of the Soviet republics. The act has been decriminalized in almost all post-Soviet countries. Uzbekistan is an exception, but the article is rarely enforced there; it is more often used as a method of blackmail and way to restrict the rights of specific individuals.
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