Nəfəs(Breath) LGBT Azerbaijan Alliance, and European Union Meet

IGLHRC believes that a vital part of our mission is supporting the work of activist organizations and allies by disseminating important information on human rights issues affecting LGBT communities worldwide. To this end we are posting this article written by Nəfəs(Breath) LGBT Azerbaijan Alliance.

On November 10, 2013, a meeting was held between Nəfəs(Breath) LGBT Azerbaijan Alliance and the European Union. The Political Advisor of EU’s Baku Mission, Alexandra Krasteva; Councilor’s Advisor, Ovidiu-Viorel Naftanaila; Program Director, Məryəm Hacı-İsmayılova; President of Nəfəs(Breath) LGBT Azerbaijan Alliance, Atilla Cavid; and the Executive Director, Tural Məmmədov took part in this meeting.

Atillla Cavid spoke about the policy of Azerbaijanian officials towards LGBT community:

Homophobia is on the official level in Azerbaijan. Despite signing several International Conventions on Human Rights, still no official programs in this area have been implemented. On the contrary, LGBT people are facing violence from police and get forced to cooperate with them. Also nothing is done in the areas of Healthcare and Education in order to improve the life of LGBT community in Azerbaijan. There are legislative loopholes and a lack of interest from the government in the area of LGBT equality legislation in Azerbaijan. That is why we as an organization see our main goal in enhancement of legislation, and bringing it into force. We will be working on developing new bills and representation of our interests in the Parliament by at least one deputy.

Executive Director of LGBT Azerbaijan Alliance Tural Məmmədov, spoke about homophobia in Azeri society and its complications:

Unfortunately our society, by using religious dogma, discriminates against people who were born homosexual, hates them and doesn’t accept their lifestyle. They are oppressed by society, and face economical and psychological abuse. This situation is even worse outside the capital -- in rural areas -- where homosexuals are forced to marry by their family. Recently, because of these and other reasons, cases of suicide among homosexuals are increasing. There are also many cases of hate crimes. We are convinced that one of the main reasons of homophobia in our society is the extreme lack of information in this area.

The political adviser of EU’s Baku Mission Alexandra Krasteva noted that the Mission is closely following the activity of Nəfəs and supports it. Also Mrs. Krasteva said that she is looking forward to broaden the cooperation with Nəfəs and showed an interest in holding such meetings on regular basis.

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