There’s currently a brutal crackdown on the LGBT+ community happening in Azerbaijan.
Police in Baku are reportedly arresting gay men and trans women under the false pretence of an anti-prostitution campaign.
According to Civil Rights Defenders, at least 100 LGBT+ people have been arrested on the street, in safe spaces and even in their own homes.
However, officials have insisted that they are simply cracking down on sex work in the area.
“In our country, representatives of sex minorities have never been persecuted,” said a representative from the Ministry of Internal Affairs told Kavkaz.
“However, this does not mean that they are exempt from liability for illegal actions.
“The police had to take measures in connection with the fact that recently people of non-traditional sexual orientation engaged in prostitution gather regularly in certain places in the center of the city in the evening and violate public order.”
The leader of right-wing political group the Justice Party spoke out in favour of the raids, and slammed the West for “defending these creatures who are sources of immorality, dangerous diseases, and who have been cursed by God.”
While homosexuality is legal in Azerbaijan, there is currently no legal recognition of same-sex relationships, and LGBT+ people are unable to adopt or serve in the military.