The Declaration of Principles on Tolerance declares that all people are different in nature, but equal in their dignity and rights. According to the document, tolerance means respect, acceptance and correct understanding of the rich diversity of the world’s cultures, forms of self-expression and ways of manifesting human individuality. At the state level, tolerance requires fair and impartial legislation, respect for the rule of law, and due process and administration. Tolerance also requires providing everyone with opportunities for economic and social development without discrimination.
The most effective means of preventing intolerance is, according to the declaration, education, which begins with teaching people what their general rights and freedoms are, in order to ensure the exercise of these rights, and encouraging the desire to protect the rights of others.
The United Nations is committed to fostering tolerance by deepening understanding between cultures and peoples. This imperative is at the heart of the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is even more relevant in the current era of intensifying and violent extremism, the spread of radicalism and the expansion of conflicts, one of the hallmarks of which is a complete disregard for human life.
In recent years, there has been a sharp increase in the incidence of intolerance, extremism and violence around the world. This alarming trend is fueled in part by a growing tendency to define differences in terms of identity, rather than in terms of opinions or interests.
As a result, individuals and entire communities become targets of violence and cruelty only because of their ethnic, religious, national or other identity. Such threats, whether it be widespread genocide or daily humiliation due to prejudice, should be of concern to everyone.
Each of us must strive to uphold the principles of tolerance, pluralism, mutual respect and peaceful coexistence. We must always be ready to eliminate stereotypes and misconceptions and to advocate for victims of discrimination.
It is important to remember that diversity, embodied in thoughts, beliefs and actions, is a valuable gift, not a threat. We must strive to build more tolerant communities in which this fundamental ideal will take root.
Ural Pride Week, a festival in support of the LGBT community, takes place all week in Yekaterinburg. A week before its start, the organizers received an application to the prosecutor’s office, the presidential administration and the FSB, and on the first day of the festival, uniformed people calling themselves Cossacks came out to the city center to “disperse gays”. At the same time, the Skrepa festival of traditional family values opened in Yekaterinburg.
The first event of the festival – a tour of the queer places of the Ural capital on Monday, September 7 – did not take place, the organizers claim that the guide was ill. At the same time, on the same evening, patrols calling themselves Cossacks came out to the city center to “chase gays”. Regional media reported at least two cases in which uniformed men stopped young men on the street, claiming their appearance.
Student Alexander Zinoviev wrote about the meeting with the “Cossacks” in his VKontakte account.
“So, I walk along the Iset and through the music I hear a formidable:“ Hey, you! ”I turned around and saw two“ Cossacks ”in front of me. Everything is in the best traditions of modern“ Cossacks ”- whip, Kubanka, camouflage-birch and a lot of different crosses, medals and badges, obviously bought on Aliexpress or taken from a veteran grandfather, “Zinoviev said. According to him, the patrol told him that it “controls the propaganda of gayness among the people” and tried to detain him, but the young man disappeared into the passage and left on the bus that approached.
The Orenburg Cossack army did not recognize it as its own and condemned the “Cossacks” patrolling the streets. The chief of staff of the Isetskaya Line of the Orenburg Cossack Army, Artem Bolotov, told znak.com: “Personally, my colleagues and I have not been involved in such nonsense.” According to the federal law on voluntary people’s squads, the Cossacks can only accompany police officers of the patrol and guard service, but not act independently, and even more so, not stop citizens. “
The BBC Russian Service spoke with the organizers of both events.
Alla Chikinda, organizer of Ural Pride Week: “It is difficult to name one moment when the idea of the event arose. In St. Petersburg, since 2009, Queerfest and the International Film Festival” Side by Side “, Open art in Moscow have been taking place, the Resource Center has been participating in Yekaterinburg city events for a prides in Europe and realized that we could do something like that, a big festival in Yekaterinburg on our own. ”Resource Center does not interact with the Russian authorities in any way.
In Yekaterinburg, the LGBT community differs from the community in other Russian cities in that it takes part in common civic initiatives: the topic of freedom in general is important to it. In other regions, [LGBT people] tend to keep apart, but for us it is important to be a part of society. Yes, we have special values, but we also share the values that unite all people.
Now such a public outcry has arisen, various groups have become more active. Those have become more active, who read: “Oh, now the men in shorts will go.” The city was roughly divided into those who are against, and those who are for – not for LGBT, but for freedom.
People started to support us. When they saw that these “Cossacks” – and in fact, those who are not – walk, that there are people who start to offend us, write threats, statements against us, they understand that this is not normal, that this is happening in our city, our country. They are against outdated ideas, conservative and “staple”. What is happening now in the city is unprecedented, in my opinion. And if you look at the comments on social networks and the media, everyone is surprised at what is happening. “
Andrey Kormukhin, creator of the Forty Fortieth movement and organizer of the Skrepa festival of family values:
We wanted to spend “Skrepa” for seven years, wanted to break through this wall, and submitted an official notification to the Moscow mayor’s office and other institutions. Although “Forty Forty” held offsite events in Krasnoyarsk, St. Petersburg, and Transnistrian Tiraspol, the festival of traditional family values is being held in Russia for the first time in Yekaterinburg, and for the first time it is called “Skrepa”. The city administration supported him.
We are not engaged in any counter-programming, I first heard about this, as you say, Ural week [pride]. Where are the millions of Russian families and where is that very small, very small part of people. I don’t want to talk about it, I don’t even want to discuss it.
It seems to you that the word “scrapa” means something of a service, it is your perception. And “scrapa” is a family. Like a brace holds the logs together. The family holds together generations, childbirth. The family is the world, maybe this is your service perception of the world.
In Yekaterinburg “Forty forties” was held already last year “Sorochinskie tea drinking”. When there was a conflict over the construction of the temple. But people did not understand that there would be a square, and a temple, and also teenagers would ride skateboards here.
I see the happy faces of people – this is the main goal of the festival. The main unit of society is the family. KPI [festival] – increase in weddings, families, birth rates in the region…. Happiness is measured by traditional values, when a person has a loved one, they have loved children, and they need the right guidelines and the right values. “
An all-too-familiar sound rings out from my phone. “Someone just tapped you!” I swipe to open the notification. 57 people recently viewed my profile. A message comes in offering me “chems,” – a solicitation of drugs which I politely ignore. The grid that makes up Grindr’s interface – a mixture of shirtless torsos, faces, and blank squares – is stale, and I want to see new people. I hit the explore feature and put myself on the other side of Amsterdam. “New message received.” 4 kilometers away – might as well be across the world. “Location received.” 72 meters away – much better. Upon a short transaction of photos, I am on my bike and on my way. I text my friend and fellow Grindr user as a security measure, “Hey – I’m going to hookup with this guy. If I don’t text you in a few hours, call me.”
For some, this is a common procedure in this digitally-mediated world of love and sex. Grindr, the world’s largest gay-dating app (Fitzsimmons, 2019), presents a number of benefits to gay communities around the globe. For example, Grindr’s interface provides sexual health information and testing resources. Shield identifies Grindr as a “socio-sexual network” that facilitates erotic, platonic, and practical connections among gay men (2018, 151). Considering its size and ubiquity, it is vital that attention is paid to understanding the ways in which these apps can harm the populations they are supposed to serve. The threats that gay people face online are numerous – risk of unwanted outing, catfishing, and the proliferation of offline practices such as drug trades, misogyny, and racism (Conner, 2018). However, the ‘hunting’ of gay people via gay-dating apps remains a serious concern for many people around the world (Human Rights Watch, 2019). Specifically, this paper seeks to explore how state actors are enacting violence against gay people through gay-dating apps.
In recent years, the rise of geo-location based gay-dating apps has presented a unique opportunity for anyone to infiltrate a gay population. The dangers of random Grindr hookups are just that – the person on the other end of the screen is a complete mystery. Albury and Byron discuss Grindr as a “technology of risk” that forces users to negotiate between intimacy and visibility due to its discreet, anonymous nature (2016, 2). Both state and non-state actors have taken full advantage of this (Brandom, 2018; Human Rights Watch, 2019; Jaque & González, 2016; Francey, 2012). While journalists have identified this phenomenon in a number of countries around the world, I am choosing to focus my work on Egypt and Chechnya due to the amount of information available from both journalists and NGOs, as well as their unique geopolitical circumstances involving gay rights and internet surveillance. My results chapter features data from interviews with Chechen refugees, shifting the focus solely to Chechnya.
In Egypt, the use of digital technology to track gay people has been occurring since 2003, when an Israeli tourist was imprisoned for more than three weeks (GayMiddleEastNews.com, 2003). This practice has only intensified, with gay-dating apps being used to entrap users, placing them in situations that are physically harmful and putting them in risk of deportation (Brandom, 2018). In Chechnya, the government has been carrying out ‘gay purges’ over the last few years, with gay-dating apps and mobile phones being employed as a tactic for tracking down the discreet gay population and torturing them – causing many to flee the country (Human Rights Watch, 2019).
To fully understand this phenomenon, I draw on three perspectives to guide my research: queer theory, privacy, and infrastructure studies. At the foundation of these perspectives – and of this paper – is the relationship between the nation-state, digital technologies, citizenship, and the self. Queer theory provides a critical lens in which to examine the sexual politics and cultures, as well as a functional perspective on the relationship between queerness and the nation-state. Literature about privacy provides ways of thinking about security in the digital age, a topic that is central to this phenomenon and to the practice of queerness online, in general. Additionally, applying the framework of infrastructure studies allows for a deeper understanding of the invisible aspects of this phenomenon. Lastly, my framework rests upon the ever-evolving idea of state sovereignty in the age of the internet. While these perspectives provide a useful framework, my analysis will show the need for understanding this problem through a combination of these perspectives, in addition to affordance analysis and ethnographic work. By situating the phenomenon – state violence facilitated through gay-dating apps – within these broader perspectives and pairing this with interface and interview data, my analysis highlights the importance of the human experience.
Broadly, I argue that to exist as queer on a dating app is to be in a constant state of production. Not only are profiles on these sites a production of the self (Mowlabocus, 2010), but we engage in the co-production of language, culture, and resistance on these platforms (Jaspal, 2017). The wide range of actors – from the neoliberal-ideal gay male to the trans woman, from the drug dealer to the undercover cop – heightens the stakes of this production, and further reinstates the highly produced nature of Grindr. In other words, the various self-production happening on and facilitated by gay-dating apps is at the very core of this issue. In what follows, I will deconstruct gay-dating apps as sites of production, focusing on how this production facilitates state violence against the gay population in Chechnya.
International Day of Charity. The purpose of the Day is to draw public attention to the activities of charitable organizations and individuals in overcoming poverty and acute humanitarian crises, and, of course, to encourage their work and mobilize people, public organizations and stakeholders around the world to participate in volunteer and charitable activities.
The Hungarian government initiated the establishment of this Day, and the date is timed to the anniversary of the death of Mother Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997). A renowned missionary and Catholic nun, she has served the poor, sick and orphans for half a century, doing charitable work, first in India and then in other countries. For her noble work, Mother Teresa was recognized in the world, and in 1979 she became a laureate of the Nobel Peace Prize “For her work in helping a suffering person.”
Charity, like volunteerism and philanthropy, is one of the most important needs of humanity. It brings people together, contributes to the creation of an inclusive and more resilient society, and the protection of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged segments of the population. And today, when the need for humanitarian aid is great and when the number of refugees and displaced persons has reached a record high since the end of World War II, charity plays an increasingly important role. So the International Day of Charity is intended to affirm the principle of mercy in society. After all, it is not known who and when will need support.
Charitable organizations of various directions work in the world – some help children, adults, disabled people, old people, people who for various reasons find themselves in difficult situations, others – dogs, domestic cats, Amur tigers, birds and turtles. Still others – monuments of architecture and culture, which are threatened by something … These are large and small organizations that work with different resources. There are many options for help – you can donate money, regardless of size, give things or blood, help put out fires, or you can give your time.
The main thing is to understand that helping others is not a heavy duty or a burden, but happiness. If we are generous, we are more sympathetic and attentive to people, we understand them. This creates strong bonds between us, helps to appreciate life and feel useful and in demand.
You can help our organization by clicking on the donation link
We have repeatedly written about Zelimkhan Bakayev and carried out actions. You can read about them here: the promotion in July 2018 and the promotion in August 2018.
The famous Chechen singer Zelimkhan Bakayev disappeared on August 8, 2017. His close friends are sure that he was kidnapped by the security forces and was kept in a secret prison.
Ten days later, his mother, Malika Bakaeva, filed a complaint with the police asking for help in the search, but this did not bring results.
Dzhambulat Umarov, who was then Minister for National Policy, called the reports of Bakaev’s disappearance “nonsense”. He said that the singer would appear “after a while.” Umarov did not specify where Bakaev is.
On September 24, Grozny State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company published on its website information that Bakaev was in Germany. As proof, the site of the state channel posted a video with the singer. On this video of Bakaev, who allegedly left for another country, journalists found furniture and a drink sold only in Russia. Also, human rights activists received a response from the European Commission, which confirmed that the singer did not enter Europe.
Bakaev’s mother Malika told the Caucasus.Realiyam how the search for her son is progressing. In short, no encouraging news.
Has there been any clue in your son’s case?
No, there was not a single message from Zelim. I was sick for a long time, I was diagnosed with an oncological disease. Analyzes, examinations, therapy courses, rehabilitation period – I spent a lot of time in different clinics. At times, after the procedures, I was not able to go out somewhere. Then this epidemic of coronavirus, quarantine …
After a long illness, we buried Zelim’s grandfather and grandmother. My mother went to bed too. Zelim’s disappearance crippled everyone. I work in a confectionery shop for a friend of mine, sometimes I can’t find the strength to go to work, but my employer calls every time and pulls me out. “You better be in public,” she says. So I live.
What do the investigators say?
“They probably already closed his case. I am waiting for the pandemic to subside to pay them a visit. “Don’t worry, we will definitely find it,” they always answered me. They sympathized with my grief. True, I have not called them for a long time, have not visited them.
Zelim was a public person. He had friends, fans. During all this time, none of them saw him, did not communicate with him?
For a very long time, his friends have not contacted me. It hurts me very much if I meet someone of his acquaintances somewhere. At first, when Zelim disappeared, a lot of people wrote to me, called, supported in every possible way. Not anymore. I understand them, they are afraid to hurt me, to reopen my wound. Nobody told me they saw him.However, many people recognize me on the street, come up and tell me how good Zelim was. I am glad when passers-by say a warm word about my son. He was a very kind son. He spent most of his time with me. Never made me worry about him. He always had good intentions.Of course, it’s not nice for a mother to publicly praise her child, but I knew him like no one else. Because of him and for his sake, I endured a lot in my life. The Almighty knows what I am talking about. I withstood a lot to be separated from my children.
Neither in Chechnya, nor in Russia, your son’s business has not gotten off the ground. Have you thought about seeking justice in the European Court of Human Rights?
No, I didn’t think about it. I believe that my son’s case will be properly investigated here.
But how much longer to wait?
Everything in due time, my son’s turn will come. I am sure that the local authorities will deal with it, they will still find it.
After Zelim disappeared, do you still have any doubts, remorse, regret, remorse about something?
If I start talking about it, I will allow myself to go too far. It is impossible to express the whole soul.
Zelim left a lot of good songs. Are you listening to them?
No, I never listen to them.
I keep his photographs in front of my eyes, but I don’t listen to the songs. It hurts me, I can’t …
In 2017, the Chechen TV channel published information that Zelim was in Germany, and a video was even shown as evidence. Have you tried to find out where that video came from, how did it get to them?
“I swear I don’t know. I would be calm even if it turned out to be so. I have been on television, but they also told me: “Do not worry, we will find, we will find out everything.”
I continue to wait for my son, I can’t throw him out of my heart like that. I live with this expectation.
In September 2017, Malika turned to the head of Chechnya, Razman Kadyrov, for help. She asked him to help find her son. There was no reaction from the administration of the head of the region then.
Later, after numerous publications about the disappearance of the singer, in January 2018, Kadyrov accused the Bakaev family of his murder because of the possible homosexuality of the young man: “Relatives who did not follow, who were ashamed to admit that he had them, now say that Kadyrov took them [Zelimkhan] What evidence? The family could not stop him, and then they called him home, and his cousins or second cousins, apparently, presented that he was this one … Do they really have no one in the village, there are no men in the family to admit – “We did it? They know very well who their relative is.”
To this, Khusein Bakayev, the father of the disappeared, replied: “Nobody took him home, he is a normal person, and not what they want to make him in the eyes of the public. Nobody in the family touched him. And there was nothing to touch.”
The investigation into the Bakaev case was carried out by the department of the TFR in Chechnya. To get any comments from them Kavkaz. The realities failed.