Azerbaijan: Police Arrest Dozens of Gay Azerbaijanis After Reported Raids

Police have detained dozens of gay and transsexual people in Azerbaijan following a number of raids around Baku, with reports of torture and beatings, local LGBT activists have reported.

It's unclear what prompted the roundup, or how many people have been affected. Lawyers working on the cases say that at least 100 people have been detained over a period of several days.

"Suddenly, without any clear reasons to us, police officers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs organized raids against gay and transsexual people,” said Javid Nabiyev, the president of the Nefes LGBT Azerbaijan Alliance, in a video message published on September 22.

Nabiyev said that the raids took place in private homes and public places where gay people are known to congregate. Some of those detained have been forced to inform on their friends. Family members and lawyers have been denied access to the detainees.

The Sweden-based human rights group Civil Rights Defenders spoke to several activists in Baku on condition of anonymity.  Read more via Eurasianet