Lesbians are also being killed in Chechnya and no-one seems to care.

Lesbian and trans women are commonly murdered in honor killings.

A woman forced to have an Islamic exorcism in Chechnya | Photo: The Caucasian Knot

A lesbian who escaped the ‘gay purge’ in Chechnya has bravely shared her story, even though it could get her killed.

The woman – who remains anonymous for her safety – shared the horrors of growing up LGBTI in Chechnya and how she wasn’t even safe from her own family.

In early 2017 the world started learning how Chechnya – a region in the north Caucasus of Russia – had started rounding up, detaining, torturing and executing men because of their real or perceived sexual identity.

But in 2018 Chechen authorities turned their sights onto lesbians and trans people.

‘Also in 2018, we began to receive reports of girls being detained by the police on suspicion of homosexuality. According to reports from Chechnya, there are girls among those detained in December to January.’

Chechen authorities denied the claims, saying gay people don’t exist in Chechnya.

The lesbian who escaped Chechnya told news agencey current time that her ex-girlfriend outed her to her family. Even though she ran away from home twice, on of her brothers tracked her down.

‘One of my brothers came for me, and we went home. My mother was unhappy with this. She told my brother: “Why did you bring her home? You should have shot her somewhere in the forest, as we agreed”,’ the woman said.

‘But my brother did not do it – my father forbade him to do it.’

Her parents tried to send her to a psychiatric hospital for treatment and told her the demon, Jinn, had possessed her. So they sent her to a local mosque to undergo an exorcism to expel it.

‘We all understood that there was no Jinn in me, but I had to pretend and pretend that it actually existed,’ she said.

‘I pretended, my parents believed me, but after a few months I ran away again. It was 2017′.

Six months after her second escape to Russia, the woman managed to leave the country altogether. But she said not so many women in Chechnya are as lucky as her.

‘There are those who are still in Chechnya and [for various] reasons cannot leave there,’ she said.

‘This is especially true for girls. It is much harder for them to do this, because they are controlled: they cannot quietly leave the house, so that someone does not accompany them. Therefore, their evacuation is quite difficult to arrange.’

The woman said more men have been detained in Chechnya because ‘girls almost always go out to the street accompanied’ by a family member.

She also said many people who had escaped Russia are still to afraid to speak out, even if it is anonymously. But she chose to do an interview because ‘the less we talk about it, the less something will change’.

‘I would like people to talk about the problems that exist, and also talk about the problems of [Chechen lesbians], because no one notices women,’ she said.

‘If they kill a gay, everyone talks about it. But if a lesbian is killed, almost no one writes about it.

‘A woman [can] be taken out to the forest, killed, come home and pretend that there was nothing. And not a single neighbor, not a single relative will ask.’

We’re inviting you to make a difference today by donating to the Chechyna Appeal.

Every dollar, euro and pound you give will help evacuate LGBTI people in the most danger. And to pressure the Chechen authorities to stop this persecution.

Please also share our appeal with your followers, friends and family; ensuring we raise awareness and apply pressure to permanently end this abuse.

Copyright www.gaystarnews.com


© Thiago Barletta (Unsplash)

We met in a book and coffee bar in the Dutch city of Eindhoven. Harlem asks me not to use his last name in the article. Because although he has been living in the Netherlands since 2016, he still fears retaliation. Opposite himself or his family in Chechnya.

The young man must be one of the first Chechen LGBT + refugees in the European Union. He fled the autonomous Russian republic before there was much international attention for the sad situation of LGBT + people in the region.

In early 2017, the Russian LGBT Network interest group and local opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta issued dozens of harrowing testimonies of torture and murder of mainly gay men by the Chechen authorities. The situation seemed to have improved somewhat under great international pressure. Until that appearance early this year disappeared when reports of extreme violence surfaced again.

In December 2018 alone, forty LGBT + people would have been arrested – at least two of them would not have survived. In the meantime, the great international pressure that came out in 2017 remains. It seems that Europe wants to normalize its relations with Russia, at the expense of the LGBT + community in the country. At the end of last year I contributed to the announcement of the news of the new wave of prosecutions by publishing a number of testimonies I received.

The witch hunt against gay men has been going on for much longer, according to Harlem’s story.


One evening in 2012 Harlem was taken away from his work by a number of soldiers and taken to a detention center. It was soon made clear to him that he was there because he was gay. The proof of his arrest: a video on which he kissed with another boy.

He was detained there for three long months and interrogated and tortured for hours. His interrogators pressured him to redeem names of other gay men. The hotel in the city regularly receives businessmen. The hotel bar is a meeting place for visitors and gays from the city. The authorities saw him as a good basis for preparing their “gay cleansing.”

After his release, he was extorted for years. In exchange for his life, he had to hand over large parts of his income. If he couldn’t afford to pay, he had to tell other homosexuals.

He was one of the sources that led the government to the rector of the University of Grozny. The government had long suspected that the man was gay and was looking for evidence. When they finally got that (hard-handed), they also started to extort the rector. When he could no longer pay, he disappeared. Since then there is no trace of the man. Perhaps he was killed.

It is difficult to estimate how many LGBT people have been arrested, tortured and / or killed in recent years. But the Russian LGBT Network already assumes that there are more than a hundred. Harlem himself knows about thirty acquaintances who were locked up in the same center for a while. One of his best friends was arrested last year and only released after he coughed up a large sum of money. At the moment the young man is still in hiding.


Fleeing from Chechnya to Europe is anything but obvious. It is expensive, the refugees often speak only Russian and have no guarantee of asylum. In addition, they often have to run headlong – and therefore without any preparation – because they are told that there is an investigation going on.

To further expose the situation of LGBT + people in his home country and to help refugees, Harlem founded the LGBT World Beside association. He recently started with a first collection campaign. The aim is to raise as much money as possible to better accommodate new refugees who arrive in Europe. This way Harlem wants to be able to buy clothes and offer a home outside the general asylum centers. These centers are often very dangerous for Chechen LGBT + people. There too they must keep their sexual identity secret, for fear that other (Chechen) asylum seekers will use violence against them. Or even worse: kill them.

In addition to shelter and clothing, Harlem wants to provide psychological help. Most refugees are often hit hard, both physically and mentally. Finally, he also wants to support the refugees with legal assistance.

Harlem’s campaign can already count on a lot of support. Piet De Bruyn, a Flemish parliamentarian, supported his initiative and the American LGBT + organization Voices4 of Wyatt Harms and Adam Eli also supported his work.

Copyright www.zizomag.be

March 1.

Zero Discrimination Day!

“Discrimination is a violation of human rights and should not be ignored. Everyone should have the opportunity to live life with respect and dignity. ”
8th UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Zero Discrimination Day is celebrated annually on March 1 by a UN decision since 2014. The agency was initiated by the leaders of UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Program on HIV / AIDS.

Discrimination is an infringement. In the modern concept, this word is used to denote the infringement of a person’s rights on various grounds (social, religious, racial, national, sexual, etc.) and can be carried out in different ways. This is evidenced by the historical experience through which absolutely all modern states have passed. Their gradation varies from a banal unfair attitude to insult and restriction of rights even at the state level.

And if the discrimination cultivated by individual states in relation to certain categories of their citizens is still subject to regulation by international law and international organizations, then discrimination at the household level is still strong, and cannot be fully controlled even in developed democratic countries.

Unfortunately, discrimination continues to affect the lives of millions of people around the world. The slogan “Give a helping hand!” Reveals the goals and tasks of those who care about today’s date, and therefore the fate of other people. But the motto of the Day “Zero Discrimination” in 2016, which sounded like “Be Yourself”, was addressed to those who somehow suffered from discrimination or continue to experience its manifestations. In 2019, UNAIDS on this Day stresses the need for action to repeal discriminatory laws.

The new holiday calls on modern society to tolerate other people, regardless of their racial, national, religious, gender, age, affiliation to a particular social group, regardless of their political and other views and beliefs. He recalls the right of everyone to a full life with dignity. Therefore, the task of the Day is the “absolute” for those who instituted this holiday, and for those who sincerely participate in the implementation of projects within its framework – the achievement of that state of society when discrimination within it is reduced to zero, that is, disappears completely.

Every person has the right to a full and decent life, regardless of age, gender, sexuality, nationality, ethnicity, color, height, weight, profession, education and belief.

Performance “Grenzeloos”.

In 2018, the performance “Grenzeloos” in Belgium, theater “Spot On“. The performance is based on real stories about what is happening in Chechnya and Russia.

Our LGBT World Beside volunteers told the actors of the history of refugees in order to maximize their credibility and convey the horror of what is happening in Russia.

Brief description of the performance: Didier and David plan a holiday with their friends. At the same time the young Youri and Jens on the other side of Europe dream of a carefree future together. Two dramatic events ensure that their lives cross each other in Berlin. As the city prepares for the Pride, they have to get their lives back on track.

Spot On brings a serious piece this time that is painfully up to date. In the West, the struggle for LGBT rights seems to be fought, but appearances are deceiving. In barely a few hours of flight, gay people risk abduction, torture and worse, while the government willingly turns a blind eye or even cooperates. And we also need vigilance. Because evil is limitless …

Spot on is the fourth production ‘Boundless’, music theater written by Steven Claes with music by Julie Helsen.

LGBT World Beside is grateful to the theater for the opportunity to tell the truth and show the truth with the help of high acting skills. We also recommend visiting other performances of this theater, you will get great pleasure from the repertoire and the acting.



New cleansing for the LGBT community is taking place in the Russian Chechen Republic. More than 40 people were detained and at least two were killed as a result of police violence. This is not the first such “purge” conducted by the Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

The film “Waiting for Color” tells exactly this story – terror, love and unhappiness for the LGBT community in Chechnya. We talk with its director Kosta Karakashyan.

This is a story of repression for Russia, Chechnya, but it is also a story for those who are fighting for their rights and perhaps the simplest thing in the world is to love. Let’s start with the characters – who are you and are you waiting for the colors, as the name of the film “Waiting for the Color” suggests, or vice versa – are you trying to create it?

Of course, the focus is on the personal stories of the victims of this cleansing. Whatever the history of Russia and Chechnya, what people experience on a personal level is terrible.

As a member of the LGBTI community, I follow the struggle for equality not only in Europe, but throughout the world. In many countries, different sexual orientations are still criminalized and cause arrests, torture and death sentences. At the same time, more and more countries are making significant progress in legalizing same-sex marriage and providing protection against discrimination.

I lived in New York for four years, watching a diverse society that supports all nationalities, nationalities, gender, and sexual relationships. In the struggle for true equality, the patience and expectations of society to get used to the various and large campaigns and gestures that give a new tone are of great importance. In this film, I try to express my opinion to those LGBTI people who currently have the greatest need to be heard and saved.

What is being persecuted in Chechnya?

All the stories in the film are literally taken from a report published by the Russian LGBT network in 2017, which inspired me and pushed for the creation of the project. I remember very well the first time I read the stories, and I could not believe how violent this violence was.

It is important to clarify that in this report, 33 people testified anonymously to this day, only the victim of Chechnya, Maxim Lapunov, appeared with his name in the media. Even for those who fled to Germany and the Netherlands, it is still dangerous for them to disclose their names, because of their families in Chechnya and for their own safety.

Just two days ago, a new wave of organized violence was announced: 40 people were tortured and two died. European activist Remi Bonnie shared two testimonies of the victims and now is the time to re-mobilize and support them.

Our position in society should be to spread information about horrific events, because international tension in this situation works and slows down attacks, which gives organizations more opportunities for direct assistance.

And how can you fight in Chechnya and Russia or, like many Russian dissidents, do you see that you have to continue the battle from the other side … almost like exile?

Most of this must be done outside. In a government where the police persecute their citizens, there is no place to support local government. 16 OSCE countries launched a mechanism that calls on the Russian authorities to launch an investigation, but they refused.

It may seem like exile, but first and foremost is the provision of transportation, protection and asylum to refugees from Chechnya……

More and more parties are starting to rely on “traditional” values to remain in power. Putin is also the idol of this authoritarian movement – how do you explain this reaction in society?

This appeal to the most dissatisfied people in society – the poor, the elderly and uneducated. There is a direct connection between the authoritarian movement and simple promises, too simple, if you think about it. When society is unhappy, it seeks a quick exit and is ready to believe in great promises and a return to these traditional values ​​of a golden past. We see it in the States with Trump, in Brazil with Bolsonaroo and Putin in Russia, but with Putin the power is even safer.

One such society becomes apathetic to hatred and discrimination and easily adapts to “others”, be they Roma, Muslims, gays, overloads or refugees. In such a society it is easy to point out something wrong with these groups, while the leader does not improve the quality of life of those who worship him.

When will the “color” finally come to Chechnya?

Unfortunately, I do not believe that there will be any changes. When I was planning a film, I very much doubted how optimistic the ending was, and we finally made very little hope, unlike the most cruel stories at the end of the film.
Color comes to every person when they are provided with security and protection. The color can come to those refugees who are starting a new life with the help of another great organization, LGBT World Beside, which provides them with the first need for a new life.

In Chechnya (and even in Bulgaria), color can appear only when all of us, as a society, demonstrate true continuity and sympathy, and not just hypocritical tolerance. This is one of the main activities of Single Step, a partner organization for placing the film on the Internet and here in Bulgaria, because they work directly with the younger generation and their parents to develop sympathy and understanding between the LGBTI community and the whole country.

Why should we watch a movie and how can everyone help?

We must watch the film to confront the unpleasant reality, which is the first step to change. I urge you to share the movie with your loved ones and online and follow the cause. (Watch the movie online). Each small wave of online support helps voice and make direct donations … … In addition, they help these Chechens to start a new life without harassment and violence – a life everyone deserves.

Copyright www.terminal3.bg