Norwegian Helsinki Committee and ILGA Europe call on Azerbaijan to investigate attacks on LGBT citizens » LGBT Azerbaijan Gay.Az
Norwegian Helsinki Committee and ILGA Europe call on Azerbaijan to investigate attacks on LGBT citizens
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Norwegian Helsinki Committee and ILGA Europe call on Azerbaijan to investigate attacks on LGBT citizens

Азербайджан
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee and other prominent human rights organizations are calling for a proper investigation of hate crimes and the protection of the LGBTI + community in Azerbaijan.


In a recently released joint statement with ILGA Europe, Civil Rights Advocates and RFSL, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee calls on the Azerbaijani authorities to ensure the safety of all citizens, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender characteristics.

Since May 30, 2021, there have been credible reports of a series of attacks against LGBTI + persons in Baku, Azerbaijan. Attacks include physical violence, threats and harassment with explicit homophobic and transphobic intentions, including online hate speech. According to local human rights activists, ten hate incidents were reported to the police.

“Azerbaijan should take immediate measures to combat homophobic and transphobic violence to prevent the escalation of violence and hate crimes,” says Mina Skowen, Senior Advisor on Equal Rights and Non-Discrimination to the Norwegian Helsinki Committee.

“We also call on the Azerbaijani authorities to take the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of the LGBTI + community as a whole.

The human rights situation of LGBTI + people in Azerbaijan has been a source of serious concern for many years. Attacks, arbitrary arrests and intimidation of human rights defenders are reported annually. In 2017 and 2019, there were well-documented reports of arbitrary arrests and ill-treatment of LGBTI + people by the police.

ILGA-Europe Annual Review reports for Azerbaijan indicate a high level of homophobic and transphobic speech and hate crimes, as well as a lack of government response to such incidents.

The reports of attacks on LGBTI + persons in late May and early June of this year were perpetrated by private individuals and occurred in public and private places.

Although the recent incidents were reported to the police, no investigation was initiated. Activists report that one victim was unable to receive a forensic summons from the prosecutor. In another case, the victim says that she was denied medical care by two hospitals. In the third case, the victim reported the harassment after attempting to file a report with the police.

As a party to the European Convention on Human Rights, Azerbaijan is obliged to ensure the right to life and security for all citizens (article 2), respect for private and family life (article 8), as well as equal treatment and non-discrimination (article 14).

In a recently released statement, international organizations confirm their intention to monitor the overall situation with respect to the rights of LGBTI + people in Azerbaijan.

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04.09.2021

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