Above: Police cordon off the site of a fire in a drug rehabilitation clinic in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Police in Azerbaijan are reportedly rounding up and detaining LGBTQ people.
Members of the community, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, told local LGBTQ publication Minority that at least 8-9 people were taken to police stations in the capital city of Baku, beginning last night.
Some are said to have been entrapped by police who pretended to be clients, inviting the targeted individuals to perform sexual services, and then arresting them when they arrived at the home or hotel where they were asked to meet.
Police are also reportedly subjecting those detained to forcible medical examinations, and some are said to have been fined under Article 510 of the Code on Administrative Offenses, for “minor hooliganism.” Police are also said to be attempting to “hunt” down transgender people through the internet.
Detainees have been sent from the Binagadi Police Department to the Skin-Venereal Dispensary, Minority reports.
A source told Gay Star News 14 people have now been detained.
“I just got information that they were sentenced for 30 days of detention,” the unnamed source said. “We call on [the] EU, Council of Europe and UN Independent Experts to react immediately to avoid these numbers to increase.”
A similar situation occurred in 2017, with members of the LGBTQ community reporting they had been detained, beaten, given forced examinations, and made to give up the names of others they knew to be LGBTQ.
The country has routinely showed up at the bottom of ILGA-Europe’s rankings of the most, and least, LGBTQ-friendly countries in Europe. This year’s report notes the situation has not improved.
Presidential candidates have been making homophobic remarks ahead of this month’s election, and in August, a transgender woman said police had targeted a number of apartments where transgender people were living, hers included. The woman, Neyla Aliyeva, said they were taken to police stations.