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Concerns about reports of crackdown on members of the LGBTI community in Azerbaijan

Written declaration No. 671 | Doc. 14870 | 03 July 2019

Signatories:
Mr Mogens JENSEN, Denmark, SOC ; Ms Boriana ÅBERG, Sweden, EPP/CD ; Ms Thorhildur Sunna ÆVARSDÓTTIR, Iceland, SOC ; Ms Gökay AKBULUT, Germany, UEL ; Ms Petra BAYR, Austria, SOC ; Ms Maryvonne BLONDIN, France, SOC ; Ms Maria Elena BOSCHI, Italy, SOC ; Ms Rósa Björk BRYNJÓLFSDÓTTIR, Iceland, UEL ; Mr Maurizio BUCCARELLA, Italy, NR ; Mr Ervin BUSHATI, Albania, SOC ; Mr Boriss CILEVIČS, Latvia, SOC ; Mr Titus CORLĂŢEAN, Romania, SOC ; Mr Barry COWEN, Ireland, ALDE ; Mr Constantinos EFSTATHIOU, Cyprus, SOC ; Mr Pierre-Alain FRIDEZ, Switzerland, SOC ; Mr Paul GAVAN, Ireland, UEL ; Mr Domagoj HAJDUKOVIĆ, Croatia, SOC ; Ms Gabriela HEINRICH, Germany, SOC ; Ms Silje HJEMDAL, Norway, EC ; Mr Andrej HUNKO, Germany, UEL ; Mr Josip JURATOVIC, Germany, SOC ; Ms Nina KASIMATI, Greece, UEL ; Ms Ioanneta KAVVADIA, Greece, UEL ; Mr Jérôme LAMBERT, France, SOC ; Mr George LOUCAIDES, Cyprus, UEL ; Ms Marianne MIKKO, Estonia, SOC ; Mr Marco NICOLINI, San Marino, UEL ; Mr Joseph O'REILLY, Ireland, EPP/CD ; Mr Thomas PRINGLE, Ireland, UEL ; Mr Roberto RAMPI, Italy, SOC ; Ms Tabea RÖSSNER, Germany, SOC ; Ms Ulla SANDBÆK, Denmark, UEL ; Mr Axel SCHÄFER, Germany, SOC ; Mr Stefan SCHENNACH, Austria, SOC ; Ms Ingjerd SCHOU, Norway, EPP/CD ; Mr Frank SCHWABE, Germany, SOC ; Ms Elissavet SKOUFA, Greece, UEL ; Mr Gheorghe-Dinu SOCOTAR, Romania, SOC ; Ms Tineke STRIK, Netherlands, SOC ; Ms Petra De SUTTER, Belgium, SOC ; Ms Violeta TOMIĆ, Slovenia, UEL ; Mr Robert TROY, Ireland, ALDE ; Ms Ute VOGT, Germany, SOC ; Mr Markus WIECHEL, Sweden, EC ; Mr Morten WOLD, Norway, EC

We, the undersigned, declare the following:

Reports are emerging of the arrest of at least 14 people perceived by the police as trans or gay sex workers on 1 April in Baku. Allegations include police use of the internet to entrap individuals, forced medical examinations and illegal detention.

This is not the first such crackdown. In 2017, the Parliamentary Assembly expressed concern about reports of the mass arrest of 80 members of the LGBTI community in Baku and allegations of ill-treatment by the police. Those responsible have not been brought to justice.

We are disturbed about what appears to be targeted harassment of a vulnerable group for some of whom, in a very hostile environment, sex work is a means of survival. Azerbaijan is assessed by ILGA-Europe as having the worst record on LGBTI rights of any Council of Europe member State.

We call upon the Azerbaijani authorities to bring these detentions to an immediate halt, conduct full investigations into the actions of the police, and implement procedures to ensure that they do not act in a discriminatory or arbitrary manner. We further urge the authorities to implement fully the Committee of Ministers Recommendation CM/Rec2010(5) on “Measures to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity”.

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