Published September 29, 2017
Lawyers and activists say dozens of gay and transgender people have been swept up in raids in Azerbaijan's capital this month and some were sentenced to up to 30 days in jail.
Homosexuality was decriminalized in majority-Muslim Azerbaijan in 2000, but animosity toward LGBT people remains strong.
Gulnara Mehtiyeva of the Minority Azerbaijan organization told The Associated Press says the arrests that started on Sept. 18 "are the most extensive raids against representatives of sexual minorities in our country."
Interior Ministry spokesman Ehsan Zahidov says the arrests were sparked by citizen complaints of "disrespect to others."
An attorney helping to coordinate legal representation for those arrested, Samed Rahimli, says at least 46 people have been sentenced to 10 to 30 days in jail for resisting police.