Civil rights activists are reported on a brutal anti-LGBT crackdown in Azerbaijan that has seen dozens of people beaten, humiliated and arrested by authorities.
Police in Baku claim it’s part of an anti-prostitution campaign, but Civil Rights Defenders reports that over the past several days, at least 100 gay men and trans women have been indiscriminately arrested on the street, in bars, and even their homes.
Activists speaking with victims report they have been subject to verbal abuse, beatings, and forced medical examinations. (In addition, trans women’s heads have been forcibly shaved.) Many were only allowed to leave after providing names and addresses of other LGBT people.
Authorities insist police were simply responding to complaints about sex workers and drug trafficking in the area
“In our country, representatives of sex minorities have never been persecuted,” said a representative from the Ministry of Internal Affairs told Kavkaz. “However, this does not mean that they are exempt from liability for illegal actions. The police had to take measures in connection with the fact that recently people of non-traditional sexual orientation engaged in prostitution gather regularly in certain places in the center of the city in the evening and violate public order.” Read more via New Now Next