Azerbaijan scored the last 49th place in the rating of countries suitable for life of LGBT citizens. The investigation was prepared by the European affiliate of International association of lesbians and gays ILGA and published on Tuesday, May 10, on the website of the organization.
The authors of the report elucidated that Azerbaijan corresponds only to 5% of the criteria, according to which ILGA determines conditions of social equality for life of sexual minorities. Upon that, 48th and 47th positions were taken by Russia and Armenia, which have obtained 8% and 9%, correspondingly.
At the same time, Great Britain has been called the most suitable country for life of LGBT people – it satisfies 86% of the criteria. Other most tolerant countries are Belgium (meeting 83% of the criteria) and Malta (scoring 77%).
ILGA pays attention to the fact that the representatives of LGBT communities in Azerbaijan are the least protected from hate and discrimination crimes, though homosexuality is not illegal in the country. The authors of the investigation say that such low rating of the republic can be explained by a great many of criminal incidents caused by homophobia and discriminatory statements by political leaders.
'Every year, hundreds of representatives of LGBT minorities are subjected to physical and psychological violence by their loved ones and wider public', said the Azerbaijan activist Javid Nabiyev in an interview with The Guardian. He noted that both murders and suicides occur, so people are forced to lead a double life or leave the country. Nabiyev himself was forced to move to Germany after he ceased concealing his non-traditional sexual orientation.
According to the representative of ILGA-Europe Bjorn van Roosendaal, 'a common feature, which unites Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia lies in the fact that these countries want to distance themselves from the West, and the fight against homosexuality is at the center of this movement'.
The leader of a local organization representing the interests of LGBT community, Isa Shakhmarly, took his own life in 2014 in Baku. It happened because of the conflict with his relatives.