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Instagram star in Azerbaijan repeats call to ‘remove’ trans people from country

3 September 2021
Sevinj Huseynova. Photo via Sevinj Huseynova's Facebook page.

Sevinj Huseynova, a popular Instagrammer in Azerbaijan has once again called for the physical ‘removal’ of sexual minorities and trans people from Azerbaijan. 

This is not the first time Huseynova has appeared to call for violence against transgender people on her Instagram account. 

In response to these earlier alleged incitements to violence and the recent alleged murder of a trans woman in Baku,  a group of trans protesters held a small rally in front of the office of the Human Rights Defender on 24 August.

[Read more: After alleged killing, transgender protesters rally in Baku]

During her most recent transphobic live Instagram broadcast, Huseynova addressed law enforcement agencies and specifically Interior Minister Vilayet Eyvazov.

‘If you [law enforcement] don't remove transgender people to protect the image of our country on the world stage, then we will remove them ourselves’, the blogger said, addressing government agencies.  ‘You must turn a blind eye to the perpetrators.’

Interior Ministry spokesperson Elshad Hajiyev told OC Media that he has ‘information’ about the video and that ‘complaints related to the issue will be investigated’, he added that the public will be ‘informed about this after the investigation’.

Members of Azerbaijan’s queer community have repeatedly said that Huseynova’s appeal for violence presents a threat to their lives and that they had repeatedly turned to the Interior Ministry's 112-hotline to report her actions.

Rovshana Rahimli, a Baku-based lawyer, told OC Media that  ‘actions aimed at inciting national, racial, social or religious hatred and enmity’ may be classified as either administrative or criminal offences and can be punished by up to four years in prison. The ‘dissemination of information promoting violence’ is also punishable by law. 

As of publication, Sevinj Huseynova has not faced any criminal charges. 

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