Gay rights advocate found dead
Isa Shakhmarli, Chairman of Azerbaijan Free LGBT, a Baku-based gay advocacy group has been found dead after reportedly hanging himself with a rainbow pride flag.
Shakmarli’s death was reported to police after a friend discovered his body. The gay rights activist is said to have penned an online suicide note which he posted to his Facebook page saying he could no longer go on living in this world.
The note read:
"I am leaving. Forgive me for everything. This country and this world are not for me.
"You are all guilty for my death. This world cannot handle my true colours. Goodbye.
A police spokesman for the Yasamal district of Baku told AFP they had been notified of Shakhmarli’s death by a loved one. "Police officers found his body at the scene. An investigation into the suicide is being carried out.”
The nation of Azerbaijan is a member of the former Soviet Union. Its predominantly Muslim culture frowns on homosexuality and the LGBTI community report regular occurrences of harassment.
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