ADDED ON: 01/19/2023

The unprotected: Police offer scant safety for Azerbaijan’s LGBTQ+ community

12/18/2023 | Global Voices

Emily Hajizadeh, a 20-year-old trans woman, feels like she is surrounded by threats. “I constantly receive threatening messages and phone calls from my family and relatives, warning me that I will be killed,” she says. “It is very upsetting, but I can’t go to the police to complain about it, because I’m not sure that my privacy will be protected.” Elnur Musayev, a social worker at the Gender Resource Center, which has provided psycho-social support to LGBTQ+ people in Azerbaijan since 2020, says that the police only take their clients’ cases seriously if someone from the center accompanies them — or if they appeal to higher police officials or publicize the case in the media. “When LGBTQI+ people go alone to police stations, policemen ask them questions about their personal lives. These questions are not related to the person’s complaint. For example, they ask ‘are you active or passive?’ or ‘do you have a girlfriend?,’ ‘does your family know?’” he says, adding they sometimes even threaten to call the individual’s family.

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