International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is held annually on March 21 by decision of the XXI session of the UN General Assembly of October 26, 1966.
On this day in 1960, police opened fire and killed 69 people during a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa, to protest against the laws of the apartheid regime on the compulsory certification of Africans in South Africa.
Proclaiming this Day in 1966, the UN General Assembly called on the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination. Thus confirming that racial discrimination can be considered a denial of human rights, fundamental freedoms and justice, and it is a crime against human dignity.
UN also recognizes that discrimination is a serious obstacle to economic and social development, as well as to international cooperation and peace.
Procession in the Cape Province as a sign of mourning for the dead at the hands of the police in Witenhague, South Africa (1985). UN Photo
Procession in the Cape Province as a sign of mourning for the dead at the hands of the police in Witenhague, South Africa (1985). UN Photo
Racial discrimination is strongly condemned by the United Nations and any policy related to it is not only unacceptable but also incompatible with the obligations assumed by the member states of the organization under the UN Charter.
However, even today, in many regions of the world, such harmful phenomena as racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, which are often directed against migrants and refugees, as well as people of African descent, are being revived.
The UN again and again calls on all states to respect the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to take effective measures, including legislative ones, to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance, and to promote ideas of tolerance, inclusiveness, unity and respect.
Among the programs that can help combat racial discrimination, the UN considers, in particular, assistance in providing equal opportunities for general education and vocational training, as well as guarantees regarding the use (without discrimination based on race, color or ethnic origin) of basic human rights, such as the right to vote, the right to equal access to the use of social services.
It is with impunity that Chechnya perpetuates a genocide against LGBTI + people with the complicity of Vladimir Putin. The European Union must react. A call for the Public Place initiative.
3.743 km. This is the distance between Grozny, the Chechen capital, and Brussels, the European capital. Only 3,743 km from the symbolic heart of the European Union is genocide against the LGBTI + community of Chechnya, Republic of Russia. A genocide at the gates of Europe.
A genocide source of silence as disturbing as indignant on the part of the international community, and more particularly of the European Union which drapes itself in a frightening silence. We denounce this silence contrary to the humanist values which, following the horrors of the Second World War, presided over the founding of Europe so that barbarism and infamy will never happen again.
Let’s not forget the fate reserved for homosexuals by the Nazis. Let’s not forget the death camps. Let’s not forget the pink triangle.
By 2019, everyone should have the right to live their identity, whatever they may be, without having to hide themselves, to hide themselves, to live with the agony of being stigmatized, persecuted or murdered. To fight for everyone to have this right is a constant struggle so that every LBGTI + person in the world feels supported not to have to live in a state of permanent terror and stupefaction. To fight so that they can assert themselves freely. This fight must be conducted with uncompromising firmness and urgency.
However, since 2017, a genocidal mechanism against LGBTI + persecuted for what they are, is under way in Chechnya. Stigmatization, denunciation, persecution, rape, torture, executions, imprisonment in “camps”. The many testimonies agree, it is well in a planned and systemic way that the Chechen power organizes this crime against humanity under the complicit eye of Moscow and in a quasi international omerta. These abuses are rooted in the logic of a power for which the general violation of human rights is the rule.
The facts speak for themselves:
In 2017, Zelimkhan Bakayev , an openly homosexual Russian singer, disappeared in obscure circumstances when he went to his sister’s wedding in Grozny. He was reportedly arrested by the Chechen authorities, detained and tortured in “one camp”, and then murdered 10 hours later, as reported by concordant witnesses. The notoriety of the victim has broken the silence and exposed the atrocities committed by the Chechen authorities.
Since 2017, hundreds of testimonies corroborate this purge systemically organized by the power and under the yoke of President Ramzan Kadyrov against LGBTI + people in Chechnya. As such, the testimony of Adam, a young Chechen who has managed to take refuge in Western Europe evokes, besides the barbarism of aggression, persecution, lynching, the establishment of a “cleansing”. The word is heavy with meaning and the family circle can hardly serve as a place of refuge: Chechen families are incited to murder their supposedly homosexual members in order to “wash their honor”.
In late December 2018, LGBTI associations in Russia revealed that a new wave of arrests of about forty men and women would have taken place. While seemingly less affected, lesbian (or so-called) women as well as transgender people are also targets of the Chechen regime. They would be detained and raped with electroshock sticks.
As stated by Kheda Saratova, a member of the Human Rights Council under the aegis of the President of Chechnya, “the entire Chechen judicial system would treat anyone who killed a close homosexual” with understanding.
All these facts have, moreover, given rise to a “Complaint for genocide against Ramzan Kadyrov” filed by the associations Foam, Stop Homophobia, Asso Committee Idaho France, at the International Criminal Court. We use this word genocide wisely because it corresponds to what is defined in article 211-1 of the French penal code by extending it to any “group determined from any other arbitrary criterion”. We regret that this is not the case in the 1948 UN Convention and believe that the term genocide should be applied also when it applies to LGBTI + persons.
We denounce the impunity with which Chechnya perpetuates genocide and urge the European Union to act. Denouncing this situation would send a strong signal to all those who do not respect the rights of LGBTI + people in Europe and elsewhere.
We therefore urge the European Union to:
denounce these abuses in a common and uncompromising way and no longer in an isolated, ineffective manner, as Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron or Charles Michel punctually did during punctual meetings with Vladimir Putin in 2017. The European Council must adopt a joint declaration and sanctions against Chechnya;
to welcome in an automatic and dignified way the asylum applications of Chechens of the LGBTI community, through its Member States, in charge of this policy;
to ask for an independent inquiry, other than this sham led by Tatiana Moskalkova, the Duma’s human rights delegate and a prominent homophobe commissioned by Vladimir Putin who, let us recall, voted for the stigmatizing Russian law repressing the homosexual “propaganda” towards minors.
Amnesty underlines that the denunciations of the international community have already made it possible to stop the arrests temporarily after the repression of 2017. A few months before the European elections, if the Union does not speak while it has this eloquent information, she will be complicit in these abuses.
We accuse Ramzan Kadyrov of planning genocide.
We accuse those who are planning the genocide.
We accuse Vladimir Putin of Machiavellian complicity in this genocide.
We therefore urge the European Union to firmly condemn this crime against humanity and to act accordingly before it is too late.
Julien Marsay , graduate of Modern Literature and Jerome Quéré , jurist in European law.
Editor’s note of Obs. This text was written at the initiative of the movement Place Publique, and signed by many personalities. Intertitles and hypertext links are editorial.
The petitioners :
Judith Aquien, cofounder of Thot , general director of Action Emploi Refugee and bearer of cause “Hospitalité” at Place Publique , Antoine Alibert, environmental activist and for equal rights Paris XX, Isabelle Alonso, journalist and novelist, Pascale Arbillot, actress , BAAM Association, reception and accompaniment office for migrants, Pénélope Bagieu, cartoonist, Serge Bagdassarian, comedian, member of the Comédie-Française , Marie-Christine Barrault, actress, Alex Beaupain,author, composer and performer , David Belliard, president of the group of elected ecologists on the Paris council , Benjamin Biolay, author, composer and performer , Dominique Blanc, actress, David Bobée, director and director of the National Dramatic Center of Normandy -Rouen , Kavita Brahmbatt, co-founder of Action Emploi Réfugiés , Saïd Benmouffok, professor of philosophy and co-founder of Place Publique , Farid Bouguettaya, lawyer, Charles Braine, advocate for “Fisheries and Ecology” at Place Publique , Geneviève Brissacwriter and editor, Ian Brossat, PCF deputy to the Mayor of Paris in charge of housing, sustainable housing and emergency shelter issues, Pierre Natnael Bussière, student and co-founder of Place Publique , Guillaume Canet , actor and director, Vincent Carry, director of the festival Nuits sonores and cause for “Culture” at Place Publique , Arnaud Cathrine, writer , Sarah Chiche, writer, psychologist and psychoanalyst, François Cluzet, actor, Maxime Cochard, author and militant LGBTI + , Corine,singer, Catherine Corsini , director, Nicole Croisille , actress and singer, Perrine Daubas, head of the company, Étienne Deshoulières, lawyer at the Paris Bar, Vincent Dedienne, actor, author and comedian, Karima Delli, MEP EELV , Alex Descas, actor, Luc Di Gallo, Militant Génération.s in Seine-Saint-Denis, Arthur Dreyfus, writer , Julien Dufresne-Lamy, writer, Pascal Durand, MEP EELV , Michel Eltchaninoff,President of the New Dissidents , Jérémy Fel, writer , Andréa Ferréol, actress, Diana Filippova, entrepreneur , author and co-founder of Place Publique , Flag !, LGBT staff association of the Ministry of Interior and Justice, Franck Finance-Madureira, journalist, founding president of the Queer Palm (LGBTI + prize of the Cannes Film Festival), Stéphane Foenkinos, director, Marina Foïs, actress, Laure Fourteau-Lemarchand, co-founder of the association Plurielles Éducations , Nicole Garcia,actress and director, Jean-Michel Ganteau, university professor, Michèle Gazier, writer and publisher, Génération.s LGBTI, Jérôme Giusti, lawyer and president of Rights d’urgence , Raphaël Glucksmann, author and co-founder of Place Publique , Guillaume Gouix, actor, Judith Grumbach , documentary director , Jean-Baptiste Gernet, deputy mayor of Strasbourg , Sihem Habchi, president of the Simone de Beauvoir prize , Brice Hillairet, actor and director , Clément Hervieu-Léger,comedian, director and member of the Comédie-Français e, Stéphanie Hochet, writer, Raphaël Imbert, musician, Yves Jeuland, documentary director , Eva Joly, MEP EELV , Thomas Jolly, actor and director, Juliette Kahane, author , Gaël Kamilindi, comedian and resident of the Comédie-Française , Jérôme Karsenti, lawyer and litigator “Justice and Probity” at Place Publique , Thierry Klifa, director , Ibtissame Betty Lachgar, spokesman forAlternative Movement for Individual Freedoms (MALI Morocco), Laurent Lafitte, actor , Pierre Lapointe, singer-songwriter, Aurore Lalucq, economist and member of Génération.s , Alban Lefranc, writer, Jean-Ronan Le Pen, environmental activist, Gilles Lellouche, actor and director, Matthieu Longatte, comedian, author and comedian, Damien Loret, LGBTI national co-referent of the Mouvement Génération.s , Germain Louvet, Parisian Opera ballet dancer , Clara Luciani,singer-songwriter , Alex Lutz, comedian , comedian, director and author , MAG Young LGBT, association, Anne Marivin, actress, Corinne Masiero, actress, Paul Marques Duarte, filmmaker, Edouard Martin, S & D MEP , Nicolas Matyjasik , political scientist – SciencesPo Lille , Mathilde Maulat , general secretary of the Place Publique movement , Marine Mazel, psychologist and “Precarious” cause holder at Place Publique , Guillaume Mélanie,comedian, Nicolas Noguier, inspector of the Sanitary and Social Action , Claire Nouvian, President of the Bloom association and co-founder of Place Publique , Odieux Boby, photographer, Valérie Ozouf, director , Pierre Palmade , author and comedian, Alysson Paradis , actress, Timothy Perkins, teacher ENSCI-the workshops , artist, architect, Louis-Julien Petit, director, Amélie Pichard, head of the company, designer of ready-to-wear, Marianne Pierot, Lawyer at the Paris Bar in foreign law, Raphaël Pitti, humanitarian doctor and elected to the city of Metz, Bruno Perreau, professor at MIT , holder of the Cynthia Reed Chair in French Studies , Malorie Peyrache, LGBTI + national referent of Génération.s , Eric Piolle, Mayor EELV of Grenoble, Denis Podalydès, comedian, director, author, member of the French Comedy, Thomas Porcher, economist and co-founder of the Place Publique movement , Olivier Py, playwright, director and director ofAvignon Festival , the Refuge , an association for young victims of homophobia and transphobia, Rone, electro musician, Laurent Ruquier, TV / radio presenter and author, Maxime Ruszniewski, producer and former ministerial advisor on women’s rights, Bruno Sanches, actor, Didier Sandre, actor, director, resident of the Comédie-Française , Edgar Sekloka, singer-songwriter, Pierre Serne, regional councilor of Île-de-France and spokesman of the Génération movement , Mathieu Simonet, writer,Eric Slabiak, composer, SOS Homophobie, Jo Spiegel, Mayor of Kingersheim and co-founder of Place Publique , Laurent Stocker, actor, member of the Comédie-Française , Tim Dup, singer-songwriter, Christa Theret, actress, Luc Tezenas , jurist, UNEF, student union, Urgence Homophobie, LGBTI + advocacy association, Nadia Vadori-Gauthier, doctor of aesthetics and artist, Thomas Verduzier, president of the association of International Affairs of SciencesPo Paris ,Marie-Christine Vergiat, European Left MEP , Pauline Véron, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of Local Democracy, Citizen Participation, Community Life and Youth, Marie-Pierre Vieu, PCF MP , Karin Viard, Actress, Éric Walther, journalist, Sandrine Zalcman, lawyer at the Court.
Nikita Tomilov, an expert at the Interregional Center for Human Rights, sent a statement to the Investigation Committee on activist Timur Bulatov (Isayev) from St. Petersburg, who is fighting homosexuals.
The statement was sent after Bulatov on March 18 asked the schools of Yekaterinburg and the police to deal with 15 teenagers who had fallen under the sodic LGBT propaganda that is detrimental to the psyche of children. On the same day, Bulatov gave an interview to Znak.com, where he spoke about his methods of work and stated that he considers “all LGBT rhetoric to be a psychiatric disease.”
Human rights activist Nikita Tomilov believes that Bulatov’s actions may fall under three articles of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation: incitement to hatred and hostility, unauthorized access to computer information and public calls for extremist activities. “What this person does is illegal as well as anti-human,” wrote Tomilov on VKontakte.
Timur Bulatov is known for seeking the dismissal of teachers from schools because of homosexuality. He claims that in several years more than 60 teachers have been forced to quit their jobs. Bulatov also participated in a rally at the headquarters of Alexei Navalny in St. Petersburg under the slogan “Bulk protects perverts.” In addition, he struggled with children’s drawings in the school of Yekaterinburg because of the “propaganda of homosexuality” (the police found no violations).
It costs thousands of dollars to evacuate a persecuted LGBTI person from Chechnya.
The Trump administration did not join several countries in signing a joint letter to the United Nations’ Human Rights Council calling for an investigation into the ongoing LGBTI crisis in Chechnya.
Thirty-two countries delivered the letter to the 40th session of the Human Rights Council, located in Geneva, Switzerland.
In the letter, they explain their ‘deep concern about recent reports concerning the renewed persecution of LGBTI persons in Chechnya’.
They refer to the 1993 Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action. This documents declares human rights as universal. It also calls on states to take action on issues like torture and other human rights violations.
‘Today, we call on the Russian authorities to take urgent action in response to these renewed reports of violations of the human rights of LGBTI persons in Chechnya,’ the letter reads.
‘All persons who remain in detention based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity must be released immediately.
‘There must also be a swift, thorough and impartial investigation into the alleged persecution, arrest and torture of LGBTI persons, and any deaths that have resulted. Those who have directed and carried out these acts must be held responsible.’
One of the countries conspicuously missing from the letter is the United States.
‘The Trump-Pence administration has once again shamefully chosen to not speak out against the barbaric, anti-LGBTQ attacks occurring in Chechyna,’ said Human Rights Campaign Global Director Ty Cobb.
‘It’s unconscionable that the United States is not joining with these more than 30 nations in publicly condemning these Chechen anti-LGBTQ crimes against humanity and calling for those responsible to be held accountable. The absolute failure of human rights leadership from this White House is staggering.’
In October 2017, the US Senate condemned the atrocities in Chechnya.
Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reportedly wrote a letter to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov about the situation in Chechnya. That letter, however, was never made public.
Neither Donald Trump nor Mike Pence has ever spoken publicly about Chechnya.
Earlier this week, the ACLU delivered harsh criticism of the US to the UN Human Rights Council.
Jamil Dakwar, director of the ACLU’s human rights program, noted 22 requests from UN rapporteurs have gone unanswered by the US.
In their statement, the ACLU wrote ‘the Trump administration has escalated its hostility toward human rights bodies including the apparent severing of relationships with independent experts appointed to monitor and report on human rights violations’.
It continued: ‘These issues raise serious concerns regarding the U.S. commitment to human rights and the international rule of law.’
In June 2018, the US withdrew from the Human Rights Council.
The ACLU’s letter also noted wanting to have a record of the US’ actions towards human rights. In conclusion, they called on Congress to look into it.
On March 6, a press conference of lawyers and colleagues of human rights activist Oyub Titiyev took place in Moscow. They spoke about the obvious signs of falsification and political motivation of his case, about the evidence that the court refused to consider, as well as about the significance of the outcome of the trial over Titiyev for the human rights situation in Chechnya.
For example, lawyer Marina Dubrovina demonstrated that Scotch with Titieva’s hair, which was allegedly found on a bag with a narcotic substance and presented as evidence linking the bag with drugs to a human rights activist, could only be glued after the arrest of Titiyev. The lawyers also noted the absence of any fingerprints on the scotch tape, which may indicate that he was stuck in latex gloves. Her colleague Ilya Novikov recalled that all the surveillance cameras that were supposed to prove that Titiyev was detained at another time and under other circumstances turned out to be “inoperative”. The participants of the press conference noted many other contradictions in the prosecution version. Another important point noted by the lawyers of Titiyev is the actual non-observance of the principle of equality of the parties in the criminal process. The lawyers reported that in addition to the interrogation of witnesses and experts, in which the judge could not refuse according to the Code of Criminal Procedure, all other defense motions were rejected.
Lawyers and colleagues of Oyub Titiyev also spoke about the important work of gathering information about the violation of human rights, including extrajudicial executions, torture, detention in secret prisons, which was carried out by a human rights activist. The speakers stated with bitterness that while reports of gross violations of human rights in Chechnya were received almost weekly, many aspects of human rights activities, including establishing the locations of secret prisons and saving people, were limited with the arrest of Titiev.
“Like the defenders of Oyub Titiyev, we are convinced that his case was fabricated, and the real purpose of his prosecution is to stop the important activities of Memorial and any human rights activities in Chechnya in general,” said Natalia Prilutskaya, an Amnesty International researcher in Russia. “If Titiyev is not justified and freed, it will demonstrate to the whole world that the Chechen Republic is a place where lawlessness reigns and the court has nothing to do with justice,” she added.
The head of the Grozny office of the Memorial Human Rights Center, Oyub Titiyev, was detained on January 9, 2018 and accused of possessing a large consignment of drugs that had allegedly been found in his car. Titiyev said that the drug bag was planted on him during his arrest. He remains in the detention center of the city of Grozny despite numerous petitions of the defense for his release and a powerful campaign to support the human rights activist both in Russia and around the world. Last week, the judicial investigation of this case was completed, and the parties are expected to debate on March 11, after which the court will announce the verdict.