D66/ALDE MEPs Sophie in ‘t Veld and Marietje Schaake have expressed their deep concerns over the worsening situation of the LGBTI community in Azerbaijan. Human rights activists reported widespread arrests and assaults in the capital city Baku. In ‘t Veld and Schaake addressed a parliamentary question to HR/VP Mogherini with a call for action.
In 't Veld: “When it comes to LGBTI rights, Azerbaijan has a terrible reputation. Dozens of people have been arrested, imprisoned and fined in Azerbaijan for "looking gay". Within Europe, Azerbaijan has the worst human rights record with respect to LGBTI, even worse than Russia. It is about time that Europe speaks up against the deplorable human rights situation and calls for better protection of all Azerbaijani citizens,” says In ‘t Veld, Vice President of the LGBTI Intergroup in the European Parliament.
Freeze EU-Azerbaijan relation
Azerbaijan and the EU are in the process of negotiating a new partnership. Schaake wants to make human rights a core issue on the agenda of future EU-Azerbaijan relations. Schaake: “The EU is Azerbaijan’s most important trade partner. We need to demand concrete steps in the field of human rights, even when this means freezing the negotiations. Mogherini should not hesitate to do so if the grave human rights violations continue."
For more information:
Sophie in 't Veld: +32477623765
Marietje Schaake: +31630377921
Anne Ruth Schussler (press officer): +32484201518