Gay man forced to flee Turkmenistan after police assaulted him for being HIV-positive

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04/14/2020

A gay man from Turkmenistan was forced to flee his home country after he was arrested and assaulted for being HIV-positive. Speaking to RadioFreeEurope, the 23-year-old was granted asylum in a European country after he was targeted for being both gay and HIV-positive. The man, whose name was withheld to protect his identity, said that he hid his sexuality while growing up because of Turkmenistan’s ban on homosexuality. The country criminalizes same-sex relations between men, punishable by up to two years in prison. He moved to Russia to attend university at 18, and began to live openly, but was forced to leave the country when he was diagnosed with HIV at 19, as Russia is one of a number of countries that deports foreign nationals living with HIV.

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