Despite reports of violence and discrimination against queer people often hitting the news, for Wagdy (Egypt), Riri (Azerbaijan), and Misha (Nigeria), Georgia represents a safe place where they can finally be themselves. While some find a new life in Georgia free from fear, the country’s opaque asylum procedures threaten to send some of them back, their presence deemed ‘contradictory to the interests of the country’.
Last month, reports emerged of the mass detention of queer people in Azerbaijan. OC Media spoke to one of the men caught up in the roundup, and a number of activists offering assistance. They tell of illegal arrests, humiliation, and even torture, as authorities continue to apply pressure. [Read more…]
The mere existence of lesbian couples in Azerbaijan is rarely talked about or acknowledged. Out of sight of the public and even queer rights activists, some women still live together and raise children as families.
A crime committed in the village of Nizhnyaya Eshera, where a young woman was killed and her underage sister was raped, sent shock waves throughout Abkhazian society and opened up a debate on the roots of violence against women.
Despite their number slowly decreasing, Armenia still has one of the highest rates of sex-selective abortions in the world. OC Media talked to a number of women who faced pressure from their families after falling pregnant with a daughter about the decision they were forced to make, and the consequences they’ve had to live with. [Read more…]
Child marriage and forced marriage in Azerbaijan leave some young women with an impossible choice: family or freedom. In spite of pressure from family, the police, and schools, some unwilling brides-to-be still decide to run away. [Read more…]
At the end of July, Chechen authorities reported on the progress of the Commission on the Reunification of Broken Families. They said that ‘in a short time’ they had managed to reunite 240 divorced couples. However, some experts say that such a commission could only work with the help of professional psychologists and NGOs, to get to the real root of family conflicts. [Read more…]
A year and a half after Abkhazia banned abortion, reportedly to increase the number of births, reports of women’s deaths and pregnancy complications have became more numerous, while the number of babies being born has not increased. Local activists have called on parliament to change the law, which they say discriminates against women.
Queer people in the Caucasus face a number of challenges — discrimination, physical and sexual abuse, and blackmail. For months, activists have watched in horror the persecution of gay men in Chechnya; however, their lives had already been in danger for some time. OC Media spoke to a transgender woman from Grozny, who shared some of her experiences and talked with us about what is happening in the republic. [Read more…]
In the North Caucasus, queer people often feel the need to hide their sexual orientation, even fearing for their lives. Many move to other parts of Russia, to avoid the pressures of society and to live in relative freedom. OC Media spoke to three queer Daghestanis about life as a queer person from Daghestan, and coming out to friends and family. Their names have been changed.