Victims of Azerbaijan’s crackdown on LGBT people have been ‘brutally beaten by police’
Victims of the Azerbaijani crackdown on LGBT people have shared horrific stories of being arrested and tortured by police.
At least 100 gay and transgender people have been detained, beaten and forced to give up friends to authorities, according to activists in the country.
Some of those detained have reportedly had their heads shaved for the purposes of humiliation.
Same-sex activity is legal in Azerbaijan at an equal age of consent, and people have the right to legally change their gender.
But the country has a poor record when it comes to protecting LGBT people.
This year, it was rated as the worst place in Europe for LGBT rights, with a 5 percent score compared to the UK’s 76 percent.
Police raids in the capital of Baku were prompted by citizens’ complaints that non-heterosexual people were engaged in prostitution, the government has said.
A Ministry of Internal Affairs spokesperson told the Caucasian Knot news site that “recently, people of non-traditional sexual orientation engaged in prostitution regularly gather in the centre of the city and violate public order.
“Citizens repeatedly appealed to the police with a request to stop such illegal actions. In this regard, the police have taken measures.”
These measures have included abusing innocent citizens, Nefes LGBT Azerbaijan Alliance has reported.
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