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Police harassment of gay men and transgender women in Azerbaijan must stop

“I am deeply concerned by reports that gay men and transgender women in Azerbaijan have recently been targeted by the police,” said Piet De Bruyn (Belgium, NR), General Rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on the rights of LGBTI persons, today. “Scores of gay men and transgender women have reportedly been detained by the police on dubious charges, ill-treated, humiliated and imprisoned or fined. These reports are deeply worrying, as are allegations that people have been subjected to forced medical tests,” he added.

“No one should ever be targeted on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Law-enforcement authorities in particular, instead of engaging in such practices, should be enforcing and protecting human rights for all,” Mr De Bruyn said.

“I call on the Azerbaijani authorities to put an end to these practices immediately and to conduct a full, effective and independent investigation into all such cases,” he concluded.