Considerable deficiency of information about rights and freedoms of LGBTI+ individuals exists in Azerbaijan. The topic is highly crucial, however, it is considered as a taboo. Conducting several pieces of research on LGBTI+ issues will necessarily increase the level of legal awareness, and lead to the elimination of existing information deficiency.
The collective detention of gay and transgender individuals in September and October 2017, urged us to think about the necessity of researches on LGBTI+ rights and freedoms. In this regard, we proudly introduce Mr. Elnur Karimov’s research related to the topic, called “The Repressions Against The LGBTI+ Individuals In Azerbaijan Between 2016-2018: Reasons And Solutions For The Attacks Against The LGBTI+ Individuals From Multiple Sides”.
Rights and freedoms of the LGBTQI+ individuals in Azerbaijan is under a serious threat for many years. However, the situation has even exacerbated within last three years accompanied by a general rackdown on most rights and freedoms of the population in Azerbaijan.
The sad situation of rights and freedoms of the LGBTQI+ individuals in this post-Soviet country derives from many underlying factors which comprise educational deficiencies, lacunae in current laws in force, poor empowerment of the LGBTQI+ individuals, lack of support and legal aid to vulnerable persons threatened or abused because of their gender or sexual orientation and perpetual persecution of NGOs and CSOs who aimed to work with the LGBTQI+ persons in various ways.
The crackdown wave reached its peak with collective arrests and detentions of members of the LGBTQI+ individuals in Azerbaijan in late September 2017. With a mere justification of HIV examinations introduced by the local police department, over 80 persons were arrested in their home or workplace and brought to the police stations, according to official figures.
The other side of the coin is that this incident showed that the LGBTQI+ persons in Azerbaijan are completely deprived of their right to fair trial as well, as they lacked sufficient legal aid and support by the society. The lack of educational activities has been another reason for the developing homophobic society in Azerbaijan who reacted to the violation of fundamental rights and freedoms of the LGBTQI+ individuals with a hate speech against arrested and detained persons in the social media. This, in turn, caused the lack of support from opposition parties and even most independent human rights lawyers who were hesitating to involve in these cases with a fear of losing their work, reputation and being
subject to different persecutions in the future.
Our study can rather be considered a legal review of the rights and freedoms of the LGBTQI+ individuals in Azerbaijan within last three years, as it is going to reflect actual issues and seek their roots in the insufficiency of the legal framework. In this regard, we will come up with final remarks and recommendations at the end of our study which can also be deployed used for local and international advocacy work by local and international NGOs before state bodies and international organizations.
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