A night club in the center of Baku. Photo: http://azerbaijan.travel/ru/

20 September 2017, 20:57

Police explain gays’ detentions in Baku by townspeople complaints

The detention raids of Baku gays were triggered by citizens’ complaints that people with non-traditional sexual orientation are engaged in prostitution, the Azerbaijani Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) has stated. Local LGBT activists assert that homophobic sentiments are very strong in the country.

"In our country, sex minority members have never been persecuted. However, they are not exempt from liability for unlawful acts. Recently, people of non-traditional sexual orientation engaged in prostitution regularly gather in central city and violate public order," a MIA source told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent, adding that all the detainees were released from police stations.

Arzu Abdullaeva, the head of the Azerbaijani National Committee of the Helsinki Civil Assembly, has noted that "in Baku, detention raids against gay prostitutes were not held for ten years."

Mekhriban Zeinalova, the head of the NGO “Clean World”, involved in defending rights of women and victims of human trafficking, believes that sexual minorities are not oppressed by Azerbaijani authorities.

Tural, an LGBT activist and blogger, has also stated that "law enforcers don’t oppress minorities on the basis of sexual orientation." At the same time, he pointed to "strong homophobic sentiments in the society."

By the level of ensuring sexual minorities’ rights, Azerbaijan occupies the last, 49th place in the rating of the ILGA-Europe – the European Branch of the International Association of LGBT people.

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

Author: Faik Medjid; Source: CK correspondent

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