A man has been attacked in the streets of Baku in what appears to have been a homophobic attack over the colour of his hair.
Twenty-two-year-old model Abbaskhan Humbatov was attacked with a metal instrument on Tuesday by two men in the Narimanov District of Baku.
The attack came amidst a spate of attacks on queer people in Azerbaijan.
Humbatov told OC Media that the men confronted him in the street and called him a ‘faggot’ (‘petukh’).
‘Then one person grabbed me from behind and the other hit me in the leg with a blunt instrument.’
Humbatov, who is bisexual, said he believed the attack was connected to a post he made on social media a day earlier in which he revealed that he had died his hair blue.
‘My assailants wanted to put me in my car and take me somewhere. I was lying on the ground wounded, and then they wanted to run away.’
After receiving treatment, Humbatov said he went to the 17th Narimanov District Police station to make a report but that police officers did not take his complaint seriously.
He said that despite sustaining injuries to his leg, police told him they would register the incident as an ‘insult’.
According to Humbatov, one of the investigators asked him if he had a ‘sexual weakness’. After he told them that he was bisexual, he said they began to laugh.
‘A police officer suddenly asked me, “Are you a faggot (petukh)?” ’
‘I replied that it is not his business. The policeman, who did not like this answer, slapped me twice. Then another police officer continued talking to me.’
According to Humbatov, one of the investigators also asked him to make a post on social media thanking the Minister of Internal Affairs for investigating the incident.
Humbatov said the matter was being investigated and he believed that those who attacked him would be punished.
‘While testifying at the police station, I learned that they had arrested the attackers’, Humbatov said. ‘I was told that one of the attackers had a previous conviction.’
‘I repeatedly stated at the police station that this important incident should not go unpunished, and that what happened to me today could happen to others tomorrow. The police told me that the attackers would not go unpunished and that I should make a video appeal to the Minister of Internal Affairs. I also prepared a video text addressed to the Minister.’
The 17th Narimanov District Police station was not reachable by phone for comment. An Interior Ministry spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.