Activists and local news reports in Azerbaijan claim that police are rounding up LGBTQ people, and especially gay men and transgender women, and subjecting them to beatings and forcible medical examinations and forcing transgender women to shave their heads.
Police are allegedly holding those who are arrested for 30 days, and forcing them to reveal the names and addresses of other gay and transgender people they know.
Azerbaijani officials told a local newspaper, the Caucasian Knot, that the arrests are part of a campaign to fight prostitution and "protect national moral values." LGBTQ people have been picked up at bars and inside their homes.
"Defending these creatures, who are sources of immorality, dangerous diseases and who have been cursed by God, Western circles trying to destruct of our national traditions under the name of ‘human rights,'" the translation reads.
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