Police conducted a number of raids in the capital of Baku and forced those who they arrested to give up their friends’ addresses, activists have said.
Some of those detained have reportedly had their heads shaved.
The arrests are horribly reminiscent of the gay purge in Chechnya, in which more than 100 people have been detained, abused and, in at least 26 cases, killed.
Police have said that their actions have nothing to do with anyone’s sexual orientation and accused the detainees of being engaged in prostitution, according to media site Eurasianet.
Other reports from inside the country state that the raids were carried out in the name of “protecting national moral values.”
Ayaz Efendiyev, deputy chairman of the Justice Party, responded to the reported arrests with a prejudice-filled diatribe.