Men belonging to the LGBTQ+ community have been arrested and tortured by police in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. Those arrested have been subject to brutal violence, including electrocution, in an attempt to gain information about other members belonging to the community. The capital has denied charges of conducting a violent campaign that violates multiple fundamental rights. Instead, the crackdown has been ‘justified’ on grounds of public health and security.
There have been unconfirmed reports of over 100 arrests – out of which 83 are confirmed. Transgender women have also been arrested. Human rights activists, who are representing the arrested claim that the police forced the women to shave their heads.
‘Same-sex conduct’ was decriminalised in the country in 2000 – however, no LGBTQ+ group functions openly. Moreover, the grounds for arresting these innocent men and women are ‘disobedience of police orders’ and ‘petty hooliganism’. Funnily enough, the Azerbaijan government has a history of using false charges to arrest those they have an issue with.
No one seems to be talking about the ordeal these people are going through. Such appalling behaviour needs to be investigated and justice MUST be served.