LGBT community targeted in Azerbaijan

LGBT community targeted in Azerbaijan

At least 100 people have been arrested, beaten and tortured in a Muslim country. Police conducted a number of raids in Baku arresting people and demanding them to give the addresses and names of LGBT people they know. Police have said that their actions have nothing to do with anyone’s sexual orientation and accused the detainees of prostitution and violating national moral values. Ayaz Efendiyev, deputy chairman of the Justice Party, responded to the reported arrests with a prejudice-filled diatribe. “Defending these creatures who are sources of immorality, dangerous diseases, and who have been cursed by God, Western circles are trying to destroy our national traditions under the name of ‘human rights,’” he said. Homosexuality has been legal in Azerbaijan since 2000, but LGBT people and activists in the country still face routine and systematic oppression. Javid Nabiyev, president of the prominent Nefes (‘Breathe’) LGBT Azerbaijan Alliance, said that “suddenly, without any clear reasons to us, police officers organised raids against gay and transgender people.”

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