‘It’s not safe for them’: Coronavirus lockdowns putting LGBT+ people at risk across Middle East

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03/18/2020

Coronavirus-induced isolation and lockdowns are putting LGBT+ people in the Middle East at risk, campaigners have warned. Many individuals are – or, due to money worries, fear becoming – trapped with family members hostile to their sexuality or gender, LGBT+ groups say, with government measures to combat the pandemic compromising access to private or safe spaces. Support groups are scaling up phone counselling services for those who have become isolated. Volunteers are also delivering medicine to people with HIV who are unable to leave their homes. The rights of sexual and gender minorities are often repressed across the Middle East. Same-sex relationships are illegal in most countries in the region, with individuals sometimes facing detainment, possible torture or the death penalty, according to Amnesty International.

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