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Journalist chains himself to Prosecutors’ gate in Azerbaijan

9 September 2021
Avaz Hafizli. Video still via Mikroskop.

Journalist Avaz Hafizli chained himself to the gate of the Prosecutor General's Office to protest government inaction against homophobic incitement by popular Instagrammer Sevinj Huseynova.

He undertook the protest action on 8 September. 

Hafizli, who is queer and works as a freelance journalist, said his life was threatened after well-known social media star Sevinj Huseynova insulted queer people in Azerbaijan and called on people to physically ‘remove them’ from the country during a live broadcast on social media.

(Read more on OC Media: Instagram star in Azerbaijan repeats call to ‘remove’ trans people from country)

Hafizli said he chained himself to the iron fence in protest of the failure to investigate his repeated complaints to the Prosecutor General’s office regarding Sevinj Huseynova.

‘There is no answer [from the prosecutor]’, he was filmed saying during his protest. ‘My family and my life are in danger every minute.’

While Hafizli remained chained to the fence he was approached by an official from the Office of the Prosecutor General, Eldar Sultanov, who invited the journalist into the Prosecutor General’s building for a discussion. 

‘I was told at the prosecutor's office that my complaint would be investigated’, Hafizli told OC Media

It also appears that the protest may cost the journalist his home. 

‘The owner of the house I live in today demands that I leave the house immediately after yesterday's protest’, Hafizli said. ‘My landlord told me that she does not want any queer people to stay in her house.’

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