24 May 2017, 06:30

Activists and rights defenders question level of homophobia in Azerbaijan

A low level of tolerance towards members of sexual minorities is not accompanied by a policy of their persecution at the state level. This opinion was expressed by experts interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot".

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that in terms of ensuring the rights of sexual minorities, Azerbaijan occupies the last 49th place in the new rating of the ILGA-Europe, the European branch of the International Association of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersexuals.

According to Tural Azerbaijan, an LGBT activist and a blogger, for the third year, the ILGA-Europe puts Azerbaijan in the last place in the rating on homophobia in Europe.

"I do not quite agree with the results of the study. In Azerbaijan, homosexuality has been legal since 2000. No one can be arrested or subjected to other punishment because of sexual orientation. There are no homophobic laws in Azerbaijan. The study of the ILGA-Europe was conducted either incorrectly or biased," said the activist.

Meanwhile, he has emphasized that homophobic sentiments are strong in the Azerbaijani society. "However, homophobic attitudes are manifested in a worldview approach, but do not reach the level of violence. Azerbaijan is not a place comfortable for homosexuals, but it is not the most homophobic country in Europe," noted Tural Azerbaijan.

"In Azerbaijan, we can talk about a low level of tolerance for LGBT people. However, I do not think that we have the worst situation in Europe in terms of homophobia. Authors of the LGBT ratings should be objective, since overly negative assessments can provoke aggression against minorities," the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent was told by Arzu Abdullaeva, the co-chair of the Azerbaijani National Committee of the Helsinki Civil Assembly.

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

Author: Faik Medzhid; Source: CK correspondent

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