Nefes LGBT Azerbaijan Alliance and Free LGBT Azerbaijan made a press conference in RATI’s office today. In the meeting there was citizens of Azerbaijan who are LGBT supporters, European Union, Norway and Germany ambassadors.
In the end, two organizations talk about suicides, specially Isa Shakhmarli’s death, LGBT rights, LGBT situation in the country, and made a statement!
In his last words İsa Şahmarlı said: “You are all guilty in my death…”
Indeed each person is guilty in death of İsa Şahmarlı and many other homosexuals. If nothing is said and done against homophobic attitude, this fascist ideology can kill even more people. Unfortunately such fascism is very strong in our society. Those people who said that İsa shouldn’t be buried at Muslim cemetery, those who demolished his grave, those who stoned people who came to say goodbye were beyond humanity. They insulted dead person in the name of Islam, while we know that this religion condemns such things. Unfortunately they’ve used Islam for violence instead of using it for peace. İsa also believed in such peaceful Islam. But the strong hatred didn’t let people see his colorful world. It was hetero sexist society which killed him by refusing to see gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders. He hanged himself on a rainbow flag to which he dedicated his life and his struggle. İsa as many other LGBT people has faced discrimination and bullying at school, university from which he was expelled, he couldn’t find a job and been forced to live his home. İsa’s story is the story of each one of us. These were his last words: “I am leaving. This country, this world is not for me… I am going to become happy… Tell mom that I love her much. You are all responsible of my death. This world is not strong enough to bear my colors. Farewell.”
There are many people living under the same pressure as İsa, because there is no law which could protect them. Existing legal system doesn’t provide protection for LGBT people. Today we are here not only for İsa Şahmarlı. We are here for thousands, tens of thousands of İsa’s. We are here to say enough to suicides of gay people. We are here, we are among you, we are part of our common society whether you want it or not. We are policemen, teachers, doctors, journalists, sportsmen, soldiers and many others. You meet us every day.
Not only people in Azerbaijan who refuse to recognize equal rights for LGBT but all the people in the world who remain silent about homophobia are guilty in this crime. Yes, it is not a suicide, it is a crime. Because it was a society who forced İsa to commit a suicide. We love and cherish everyone who left us like İsa did. You can’t get rid of us. We are everywhere. In History. In Nature. In each city and country of the world.
Those who rejoice – do not rejoice. Nothing is over. Those who’ve stoned İsa’s friends at the cemetery – don’t think that you have won. You have already seen that there are millions of İsa’s around the world. Some of you even insulted people supporting equal rights, tried to blackmail them. Our media has also contributed a lot to this homophobia by using very insulting, humiliating and discriminative approach. But we do believe in the rule of law, we do believe that our law enforcement authorities would not keep silence towards all of these injustices, we do believe in our state.
Those who are in grief, don’t be sad. İsa is not among us, but he will live as a part of our struggle!