TDoR 2024 / 2024 / March / 12 / Aytan


12 Mar 2024
Khojasan, Baku (Azerbaijan)


Aytan's beaten body was found in Khojasan on the outskirts of Baku.

Two suspects - her partner and landlord - were arrested.

Azerbaijani authorities have remained silent over the apparent murder of a transgender woman near Baku, failing to confirm if an investigation into her death was underway.

According to local queer rights activist Alex Shah, the woman, identified only as ‘Aytan’, was found late on 12 March in Khojasan, on the outskirts of Baku.

A photo shared among the local transgender women’s community seen by OC Media showed her body beaten lying on the side of the road.

‘The photograph of Aytan’s body was horrific and you can easily see the marks of torture’, Shah (who uses they/them pronouns) told OC Media.

They said that after writing about the killing on social media and tagging the Ministry of Internal Affairs, they were called in for questioning by police. Shah said an investigator informed them that they would need more information before they could open an investigation.

‘He told me I should add information about where the criminal case happened and who she was, and I should tell them Aytan’s “real name” [as written] on their identity card’, said Shah.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Anar Gafarov, told OC Media on Tuesday that the ministry had no information about the case, asking if details about it had been ‘shared on Facebook’. He insisted the ministry investigated all murder cases.

Shah told OC Media on Thursday that he had received information that two suspects, Aytan’s partner and landlord, had now been arrested.

‘A person from the LGBTIQ+ community told us that Aytan was killed by her partner', said Shah. ‘Aytan screamed, and the neighbours heard her voice, so they called the landlord. The owner took Aytan’s body to the side of the Khojasan road and dumped the body there.’

Local queer rights activists have also noted the lack of media coverage of the apparent killing, despite details having been shared online.

‘The media is largely keeping silent, and we call it phobic silence’, Leyla Hasanova from QueeRadar told OC Media.

According to Hasanova, keeping silent appears to simply be an absence of action, but in effect means that the media is actively contributing to the situation by not providing coverage or support.

Report added: 28 Mar 2024. Last updated: 30 Mar 2024

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