Post submitted by Bo Suh, HRC Digital Media Intern
A teenager in Azerbaijan was set on fire and nearly killed by his own parents after they found out he was gay. The teen is now in hiding, trapped in Azerbaijan because his passport was taken by his family.
The 18-year-old, known as Malik, had his sexuality revealed through blackmail on social media. A photo of him at an LGBT pride march was sent to his parents, who then attacked him, according to International Business Times.
Azerbaijan does not criminalize same-sex activity, but its strong Muslim culture makes it difficult to be openly LGBT in the country.
Early this year, one of Azerbaijan’s best-known LGBT rights leaders committed suicide in his Baku apartment. Isa Sahmarli was the chairman of the Free LGBT group and was only 20 years old. He hanged himself with a rainbow flag, according to Independent European Daily Express.
In many countries around the world, same-sex activity can be punished with life imprisonment or even death. For more information about international LGBT topics, visit http://www.hrc.org/topics/international.