On March 28, at about 15.00, an anti-LGBT protest took place in downtown Tashkent. In the evening, the Tashkent city police department (TPD) reported of the arrest of 12 people and the initiation of a criminal case by the Mirabad district police department on the grounds of part 2 of article 277 "Minor Misconduct" of the Criminal Code.
Footages of the incident surfaced on social networks, showing several dozen of men walking on a road in front of the Palace of Forums shouting Allah Akbar!
The TPD reported that 3-4 citizens tried to beat up a male named T.S. and a female named B.R., whom they considered to be LGBT activists.
“These citizens were joined by another 20-25 persons who deliberately violated the rules of conduct in public,” the message says. The video recordings show that there were significantly more participants in the action.
The police and the National Guard officers serving in the area intervened and protected the two young people, preventing their bodily harm, the report said.
The instigators of the conflict and its active participants were detained. Investigative actions are underway now. The TPD emphasized that "there were no religious differences in this conflict."
Miraziz Bazarov, a blogger who organized a gathering of Anime and K-Pop fans and defended LGBT rights, was severely beaten near his home on Sunday evening on March 28.
Witnesses said he was taken to the Republican Traumatology Medical Center with serious injuries.
"Miraziz was severely beaten by three masked men who came in a car near his house. Some of the masked men hit Miraziz with a baseball bat," the witness said.
The protests come amid an intensifying standoff in Uzbekistan between few people who support LGBT rights and the conservative society and government.
A few hours after the incident, the leader of the Milliy Tiklanish party and the deputy speaker of the Legislative Chamber, Alisher Kadirov, published a post on Telegram, in which he pointed to the need to even further harshen the Article 120 of the Criminal Code (Sodomy).
Earlier, the deputy from UzLiDeP Rasul Kusherbayev, in response to calls from international organizations to abolish Article 120 of the Criminal Code, stated that the day of legalization of same-sex relations would become "the day of our death."
European LGBTQ rights advocates and more than 40 human rights organizations have issued a joint statement calling on the government of Uzbekistan to repeal its laws criminalizing same-sex relations between men as part of its broader review of the nation’s Criminal Code.