The Russian public has responded to the persecution and murder of gays and lesbians in the territory of the Chechen Republic. January 20 in the country began the campaign # saveLGBTinRussia. Pickets demanding to stop crimes against LGBT people, as well as to bring to justice all those involved in torture and murder were held in Yaroslavl, Nizhny Novgorod and St. Petersburg. Georgia joined the campaign: in Batumi, they also came out in support of one of the most discriminated groups in Russia today.
“The reason for the campaign was the recent resumption of persecution, abduction, torture and murder of LGBT citizens in Chechnya.
This region of Russia, where, according to its leadership, LGBT people do not exist, is a vivid example of the genocide to which the silence of LGBT issues in Russia, the violation of human rights and impunity of crimes against LGBT people can lead ”- organizers of St. Petersburg pickets write from the group Alliance of heterosexuals and LGBT for equality.
According to public figures, in Nizhny Novgorod, unknown persons attacked an activist and tore up a poster. In other cities, fortunately, there were no incidents. The week of unified actions, during which any person can stand in a single picket or take a picture with a poster in support of LGBT people on the streets of their city and post photos with the hashtag #saveLGBTinRussia, started and will last until January 27th.
Photos and information provided by the “Alliance heterosexuals and LGBT for equality, together with regional LGBT initiatives.
Frank Schwabe (SOC, Germany), rapporteur on the continuing need to restore human rights and the rule of law in the North Caucasus region, and Piet De Bruyn (NR, Belgium), General Rapporteur on the rights of LGBTI people and former rapporteur on persecution of LGBTI people in the Chechen Republic (Russian Federation), today condemned the recent alleged attacks on the LGBTI community in Chechnya, during which two people were reportedly tortured to death and around forty detained by the authorities.
“Since the first such allegations came to light in 2017, the Assembly has called on the authorities to investigate the persecution of LGBTI people in the Chechen Republic, bring to justice those responsible and ensure the safety of victims,” said Mr De Bruyn. “As stated in Resolution 2230 (2018), the Assembly condemns in the strongest terms all forms of persecution, hate speech, discrimination and harassment, on any grounds, including sexual orientation and gender identity,” he underlined.
“These latest outrages underline the Chechen authorities’ contempt for even the most basic human rights and illustrate the barbaric lawlessness of their rule,” added Mr Schwabe. “The Russian federal authorities must take immediate, effective action to meet their constitutional and international obligations to secure the right to life, the prohibition on torture, the right to liberty and security and the right to an effective remedy, without discrimination on any ground, throughout the national territory. They must put an end to the impunity of the Kadyrov regime,” he concluded.
In Bulgaria, on January 12, 2019, at 19:00 (26, 6-ti Septemvri str., Sofia, Bulgaria), there will be a presentation of the documentary dance film #WAITINGFORCOLOR on the ongoing pursuit of LGBTQ + in Chechnya, in Armenia and in Bulgaria, in partnership with the Single Step Bulgaria and Gallery 2.0 Foundation. If you are in Sofia, join Kosta Karakashyan and Radoslav Stoyanov from the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, we will discuss the rights of LGBTQ + in Bulgaria, Chechnya and Western Europe, as well as the opportunity to donate to refugees from LGBTQ + seeking asylum in the Netherlands with LGBT World Beside.