In December 2011, UAF received a request from Labrys in response to a recent burglary attempt at their safe house and threats to their members’ safety. Labrys is an organization that supports the LGBT community in Kyrgyzstan by providing a safe shelter for community members and activists and also advocating for LGBT rights with the government and the media. Discrimination and hate crimes against LGBT persons are regular occurrences in Kyrgyzstan and much of Central Asia, and Labrys not only serves as a meeting place and safe space for the local community, but also hosts international and regional events where LGBT activists meet and organize regional strategies. Given the dire situation in other Central Asian countries, Kyrgyzstan is one of the safer places, so maintaining their shelter is important to the sustainability of the Central Asian LGBT movement as a whole.
Labrys had already invested in some security measures such as bars on the windows, reinforced doors, and fencing, but on December 16th there was an attempted break-in. Their staff have also received threats of violence by anonymous SMS messages. Labrys feels they cannot always report such incidences to the police, since some police are homophobic and disclosing the sexual orientation of some of their members to the police may put the members at more risk. At this time, Labrys proposes to install additional security for the safe house, which will include a round-the-clock video surveillance system and other security technology to ensure a rapid response in case of threats or violence.