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Spate of homophobic attacks in Azerbaijan

7 June 2021
Fountain square, Baku. Where one of the attacks took place. Photo via Wikipedia.

In the last week, there were three separate attacks against members of the queer community in Azerbaijan. The victims have stated that they were attacked because of their sexuality. 

The most recent attack took place on the night of 2 June, when an unknown person attacked a member of the queer community in the Bilajari settlement of Baku.

The victim of this attack, who asked OC Media not to reveal his name, said he was accosted by a stranger while walking in the street. According to the victim, the stranger told him to ‘act like a man’ and called him slurs, before taking out a sharp object and attacking him. The victim said he was cut on the arm, and when he resisted, the attacker fled. 

The victim has said he would contact the police in connection with the incident.

Another homophobic attack in Baku took place on 30 May in Fountain Square.

‘As I was walking, he suddenly grabbed me by the neck and punched me in the left kidney’, the victim, Herman Turan Javadzadeh, told OC Media.  ‘I could not see his face in shock. I got up to defend myself and ran away.’

Javadzadeh said he did not go to the police. ‘Two days ago, another friend of mine was also attacked. When he called the police, the police officer told him, “If I could, I would burn homosexuals myself”.’

On 1 June, in the Yasamal district of Baku, two masked men attacked another member of the queer community, Pariz Abdulayev. He told OC Media that they pushed him and then cut his arm with a wine opener.  

‘As I was walking along the road, two boys called after me. I tried not to pay attention. Then they approached me and began to pull on my shirt. Both wore masks. I was attacked and I began to resist', he said. 'I stumbled and fell to the ground. They fled.”

Parviz said he was traumatised after the incident and thought it was useless to call the police. ‘I did not go to the police because they are not interested in any issue related to us [members of the queer community]. When we go to them, they ask us personal questions that are not related to the subject’, he said. 

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