Western pressure is saving LGBT lives in Azerbaijan, but crisis is far from over

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John Ibbitson writes at the Globe and Mail:

After Canada and other Western governments protested the arrests and beatings of gay and transgender citizens in Azerbaijan, the regime began releasing the detainees, proving that publicity and pressure can force autocratic regimes such as the one in Baku to unclench their fist now and then.

But as a report released on Tuesday by Human Rights Watch reveals, the situation remains grim, which is a tragedy for LGBT people trapped within a society that hates them.

Azerbaijan doesn’t deny the pogrom. According to a statement by the Internal Affairs Ministry and the prosecutor’s office, 83 people were detained between Sept. 15 and 30, allegedly because they had engaged in prostitution.

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