“Azerbaijani police must stop harassing LGBTI people and activists”

“Azerbaijani police must stop harassing LGBTI people and activists,” says PACE General Rapporteur.

“I am deeply concerned by new reports that LGBTI people and activists defending their rights in Azerbaijan have again been targeted by police officers,” said Christophe Lacroix (Belgium, SOC), General Rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on the rights of LGBTI persons, on May 31. “Following their protests against police behaviour towards them, several trans women were reportedly detained early last week, and the following day LGBTI activists demanding their release were also reportedly detained, ill-treated, humiliated and/or fined. These reports are deeply worrying, as are allegations that some of these individuals were subjected to forced medical tests,” he added.

“No one should ever be targeted on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression or sex characteristics. Law-enforcement authorities in particular, instead of engaging in such practices, should be enforcing and protecting human rights for all. This is not the first time that we have received reports of harassment and ill-treatment of LGBTI persons and activists by the police in Azerbaijan, and the Assembly has already called on the authorities to investigate cases of wrongful arrest of LGBTI people and prevent and combat police violence against them,” Mr Lacroix said.

“I once again urge the Azerbaijani authorities to put an end to these practices immediately and to conduct a full, effective and independent investigation into all allegations of abusive treatment of LGBTI persons and human rights defenders by the police,” he concluded.

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