Two teenagers have committed suicide in Azerbaijan, reportedly after facing homophobic pressure. Nefes LGBT Azerbaijan Alliance, a local rights group, reported on 14 November that the reason behind both deaths was pressure from their families and others.
According to Minority Azerbaijan, another rights group, 17 year-old Umid from Ganja was seen by a friend of his father hanging out with queer friends. After telling his father that Umid was ‘disgracing his family all over the town’, his father reportedly called Umid and threatened to kill him.
‘Yesterday he was with his friends, and after spending a good time he said goodbye to everyone and went home. At about 10 pm he wrote a farewell message to his friends and said he was going to commit suicide. The friends didn’t believe him and thought he was joking. He didn’t react to their words of comfort. He was last seen online at 11:11 pm’, says a statement posted by Minority Azerbaijan.
The second teenager, 17-year-old Chingiz, was a student of psychology who became a target after dyeing his hair and wearing an earring, a friend of the deceased told Nefes LGBT Azerbaijan Alliance.
‘He was living openly with his sexuality and always struggled because of the attitudes of other people. People were bullying him always, acting strangely because of how he looked, making disrespectful jokes about him. The neverending pressure affected him. He told his friends about the struggle which he was facing, the struggle which he was going through, and he did not have more power to endure all of this. His group mates assume that he committed suicide on 4 November by jumping down from the 17th floor of the high building where he was living, and the reason of this is the homophobia based pressure of his family and society’, Nefes LGBT Azerbaijan Alliance says.
The Alliance also says that his parents relate his death to a car accident, despite an investigation being launched for bringing a person to suicide.