When Sami and Mehraj met, it was love at first sight. But, living in Azerbaijan – where anti-gay crackdowns are commonplace – safety and security weren’t quite as certain.
For the “crime” of being gay, they were kicked out of their apartment. They were attacked and severely beaten multiple times. They lived in constant fear of being arrested and tortured. So it’s little wonder they made multiple attempts to escape to a safer country.
But each attempt met the same heartless bureaucracy. They couldn’t get the right visas, and were ultimately forced to return to Azerbaijan, and a familiar climate of fear.
But then, in 2019, the Rainbow Railroad stepped in. With the organisation’s help, the couple finally escaped to Spain. And today, as pick up the pieces of their lives, they no longer discuss the persistent threat of persecution. They’re free to talk about getting married and starting a family.
Thanks to Rainbow Railroad, Sami and Mehraj get to enjoy the pleasures of life and love that we take for granted. And that’s just one success story out of thousands.