On June 24th, in the Sabail region of Baku, a transgender woman Ayla Demirova, 27, who lived on 26 Said Rustemov Street was stabbed to death. For the year 2015, this is already a third LGBT murder (the victim of one of them had their head cut off).
As a result of an investigation, it was determined that Ayla was killed due to jealousy. Two of her close friends, who are also her roommates, were also at the scene. In order to help Ayla, they entered her room.
At this time, they were also stabbed. During the incident, one of them was stabbed in the shoulder and the other in the mouth. In any case, Nefes LGBT Alliance condemns the incident. We hope that as a result of conducting a proper criminal investigation, the law enforcement agencies will be the guarantor of punishment for the criminal(s).
Another thing that shook us was the interview given by the MP of the National Assembly (Milli Madjlis) Fazil Mustafa on the subject of this murder. In general, Fazil Mustafa in known for his homophobic remarks. In reference to the latest crime, Fazil Mustafa said that homosexuality is a disease. The MP evaluates gender change as contrary to nature and human morality and called on society to show a tough stance against LGBT people.
According to the MP, the main reason for the spreading of such instances in Azerbaijan is the “lack of true religious ideas” and he also considers homosexuality as a threat to Islam: “There are attacks against the moral values of society. Therefore, it is inevitable to take measures against such cases. This is why society must take a tough stance against it.”
The MP thinks that sex change is an act of rebellion against Allah. “I regard a person who moves away from one’s own nature as a rebellion against Allah. This is a rebellion against the creator. If Allah created a human as a man, afterwards how do they turn into a woman? A person has to stay the same as he/she was created.”
The deputy added to his thoughts that some of those working in government are rumored to be homosexuals and that such persons cannot be in government positions.
As an organization, we demand that Fazil Mustafa be careful in the statements he gives. His calls for hate crimes give credibility to the continuously rising number of homophobic people in society. Also, we would like to express that Fazil Mustafa will be partially responsible for hate crimes that take place from now on. The MP forgot that Azerbaijan is a legal state and is separate from religious states. The Republic of Azerbaijan is not run on religion or on national values that have been turned into an idol. Regardless of religion, race, nationality, age, sexual orientation, every human being has a right to life. Regardless of the orientation of the murdered person, be it lesbian, be it gay or bisexual, be it transgender – all murders should be condemned unequivocally. The murdered person was a citizen of this country.
On the other hand, Fazil Mustafa should take into account that his attitude does not align with that of the President of the Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev. On June 24th, 2014, during a speech at the Parliament of the EU, President Aliyev said that the rights of LGBT persons are completely protected in Azerbaijan. Another point that the MP forgets is that in 1999, homosexuality was removed from the criminal code of Azerbaijan. The former president Heydar Aliyev confirmed this criminal code with his signature.
As an organization, Nefes LGBT Alliance demands from Fazil Mustafa to stop his calls for hate.