Last Thursday, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the human rights situation in Azerbaijan, in which it denounces the intimidation and repression of LGBTI people, as well as those defending their rights.
The overall human rights situation in Azerbaijan has deteriorated continuously over the last few years, with many independent journalists and civil society leaders now imprisoned without appropriate access to healthcare. Those not imprisoned, are often subjected to intimidation and harassment.
Independent LGBTI activists had to flee the country for fear of persecution.
In its resolution, the Parliament “strongly condemns the unprecedented repression against civil society in Azerbaijan” (par. 3). It highlights that it is “extremely concerned over the situation of LGBTI people” and “condemns political hate speech against LGBTI people” (par. 12).
Furthermore, the Parliament “calls on the Azerbaijani government to stop obstructing and intimidating human rights defenders working for the rights of LGBTI people” (par. 12).
Ulrike Lunacek MEP, Co-President of the Intergroup on LGBTIRights, reacted: “Over the last year, at least 3 LGBTI persons were killed with trans-/homophobic motives, which is unfortunately no wonder in a context where inflammatory speech against LGBTI people comes from the highest levels, including politicians.”
“It is time that the government stops persecuting those with whom it should be cooperating to create a better and respectful country.”
Tanja Fajon MEP and Kati Piri MEP, Vice-President and Member of the Intergroup on LGBTI Rights, continued: “The crackdown on LGBTI civil society is part of a wider systematic crackdown on civil society, which is beyond imagination: Nearly one hundred political prisoners, and continuous intimidation and harassment of human rights defenders.”
“It is time to seriously address this crackdown and we call on the High Representative, the Commission and the Council to address this at the highest possible level, including through the human rights dialogue and a stop of the negotiations on the Strategic Partnership Agreement with Azerbaijan if things do not improve.”