Homophobic acts by the police during the "8 March" 

Javid Nabiyev, an LGBTI+ activist who wanted to take part in this year's March 8 - We can't shut up rally, was met with homophobic treatment by police.

Speaking to Minority Azerbaijan, Nabiyev said he came with a poster and a rainbow mask to take part in the 8 March. However, as he arrived a little late for the march, he learned from the media that the marchers were moving towards the statue of Natavan. He also came to the area where the march was happening. However, he saw that the police surrounded the participants en masse, making it physically impossible to join the participants. 

Javid Nabiyev said that he saw the marchers under siege by the police and decided to support them and wear a mask where he was standing. Suddenly, one of the police officers saw him and said, "Please change your mask," and he asked the police officer next to him to give him another mask.

When asked the reason for the request to change the mask, the police officer said that the rainbow mask was not appropriate. Nabiyev says that although he tried to find out what was appropriate here, the police said, "You know your answer. But if you need an answer, we can answer in the Police Station No 9". Then another police officer approached and ordered him to be removed from the area. Javid Nabiyev commented on the reason for the incident: “Several LGBTI+ posters and flags were already removed during the march, and this was probably done in order to produce video on Ictimai TV and other state channels. Coming there in a mask was a problem for the 'appropriate' look."

LGBTI+ and trans flags unveiled during the March 8 - We can't shut up rally were confiscated by police, and the police tore down a placard reading "Petukhs are against the dictator." 

Gulnara Mehdiyeva, one of the organizers of the rally, told Minority Azerbaijan that LGBTI+ rights are part of the feminist agency and that the rally's statement called for equal rights for all, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

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