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Spate of attacks against LGBTQ+ people in Azerbaijan

Photo by niiicedave, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

This article was first published on OC Media. An edited version is republished here under a content partnership agreement.

In the last week, there have been three separate attacks against members of the queer community in Azerbaijan. The victims all said that they were attacked because of their sexuality.

The most recent attack took place on the night of June 2, when an unknown person attacked a queer person in the Bilajari settlement of Baku.

The victim of this attack, who asked OC Media not to reveal his name, said he was accosted by a stranger while walking in the street. According to the victim, the stranger told him to “act like a man” and used homophobic slurs before sharp object and attacking him with a sharp object. The victim said he was cut on the arm, but he resisted, and the attacker fled.

The victim has said he would contact the police in connection with the incident.

Another homophobic attack took place on 30 May in Fountain Square in Azerbaijan's capital, Baku.

“As I was walking, he suddenly grabbed me by the neck and punched me in the left kidney,” the victim, Herman Turan Javadzadeh, told OC Media.  “I could not see his face in shock. I got up to defend myself and ran away.”

Javadzadeh said he did not go to the police. “Two days ago,” told OC Media, “another friend of mine was also attacked. When he called the police, the police officer told him, ‘If I could, I would burn homosexuals myself’.”

On June 1, in the Yasamal district of Baku, two masked men attacked another member of the queer community, Pariz Abdulayev. Abdulayev told OC Media that the men pushed him and then cut his arm with a wine bottle opener.

“As I was walking along the road, two boys called after me. I tried not to pay attention. Then they approached me and began to pull on my shirt. Both wore masks. I was attacked and I began to resist,” Abdulayev said. “I stumbled and fell to the ground. They fled.”

Abdulayev said he was traumatised after the incident but thought it was useless to call the police.

“I did not go to the police because they are not interested in any issue related to us [members of the queer community]. When we go to them, they ask us personal questions that are not related to the subject,” he said.

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