Arthur, 22, fled Chechnya, where homosexuals are still being persecuted. For his family, it was a “shame”: struck by his parents, his father even threatened to kill him.
He tells his ordeal to Hugo Clément and recounts the ill-treatment suffered by his imprisoned friends in Chechnya: physical violence, sexual abuse, deprivation … “Sometimes, you are sent back to your family to kill you,” he explains. there.
Today, Arthur works with Urgence Homophobie and wants to “erase his Chechen life”..
This is a humanitarian crisis which is just getting worse by the minute. LGBTI people are dying, but we can help them.
We all know by now that gay men and women have been persecuted in Chechnya.
We have known that since December 2017, Chechen authorities have been rounding up people on their actual or perceived sexuality.
LGBTI people have been illegally detained, tortured and executed. Multiple organizations and media outlets have verified the horrors happening in Chechnya, which is in the Northern Caucuses region of Russia.
The situation escalated this year with detention of 40 men and women. We know that two people died as a result of torture.
The world’s community has spoken out against these atrocities, but Russia has continued to ignore what’s happening in its own backyard.
The Russian LGBT Network is helping to evacuate people from Chechnya. They are sheltering them in safe houses, providing them food, clothing and psychological support.
But most importantly, they’re trying to get them out of Russia and that’s where we come in.
We can help the persecuted Chechens in some really simple ways.
Here’s how to help: Money: – It costs about €4,000 (US$4,562) per refugee to keep them in safe housing, but to also get them international travel documents to help them flee Russia.
– The most urgent need for the LGBT World Beside is money. Getting them critical funds is a priority of the international community.
– If you can’t afford to donate, make sure you share the link around to encourage friends and families to help.
Make your voice heard: Many of the victims, especially those tortured by authorities, will try to seek sanctuary outside of Russia. So, The Russian LGBT Network is asking people to contact their local politicians and government immigration ministers.
Write to your MPs to get them to help grant persecuted LGBTI Chechens asylum in your home country. By writing to MPs you’re not only raising awareness of the situation, but also letting them know that are lot of people are watching what’s happening. That puts pressure on them to act.
Other calls and emails you can make: Get in touch with the border police in your home country. In some urgent cases, Chechen refugees may try to enter the country without a visas. Let the border authorities know these people are running away from persecution and have the grounds to claim asylum.
You can also call the following United Nations bodies to encourage them to to initiate the United Nations Independent Investigation on Russia with a specific mandate on the human rights violations in the Chechen Republic.
If you’re in Europe you could contact the EU Committee for Torture Prevention to release the results of their visit to the Chechen Republic in December 2017. You could let them know that while LGBTI rights violations continue, the Russian authorities remain unresponsive and claim that no cases of human rights abuse are happening there.
France introduced a national campaign in the fight to eradicate anti-LGBTI incidents in middle and high schools across the country.
Starting today (28 January), France’s Ministry of National Education and Youth launched All Equal, All Allies. It’s a campaign that ensures all state schools put up anti-bullying posters, as well as provide accompanying guides about LGBTI students for teachers.
SOS Homophobia spearheaded the campaign, which aims to make LGBTI youth in France feel more included at school.
They found an increase of reports of anti-LGBTI incidents by 38% in the last year.
Their recent report also said this causes decreased self-esteem, isolation and dropping out of school. The risk of suicide attempts remains four times higher for LGBTI youth than for the rest of the population.
They wrote in a press release: ‘SOS homophobia hopes that all institutions, public and private, will open their doors to this campaign so that it can reach a maximum of students and complete the work of prevention and awareness provided by SOS volunteers.’
In November last year, a French LGBTI activist group warned of an increase in anti-gay attacks across the country.
Across France, complaints of homophobic attacks increased by 15% since the beginning of 2018.
A number of French LGBTI rights activists also believe that the number of people to experience homophobic attacks or abuse is widely underreported.
‘This is just the tip of the iceberg,’ said the spokesperson for rights group Inter-LGBT, Clémence Zamora-Cruz.
‘On the ground, many attacks go unreported. Often, victims don’t complain for fear of reprisals, or because they’re afraid of speaking to police officers who aren’t aware of issues relating to LGBT identity.
He then added: ‘They’re scared of not being listened to.’
Last month, a handful of French artists got together to release a song to help tackle homophobia.
De l’Amour tells the story of gay refugee Azamat, with all proceeds raised going to French charity Urgence Homophobie (Emergency Homophobia).
Among the artists volunteering to sing on the track and appear in an evocative video were Emmanuel Moire, Christophe Willem and Muriel Robin.
That’s why nearly one hundred people flocked to a rally outside of the Russian embassy in London to call for an end to the persecution of gay men and women there.
Since April 2017, authorities in the northern Caucuses have been rounding up people based on their real or perceived sexuality. They’ve tortured them in the most horrifying ways and in some cases, executed these people because of their sexuality.
Every time international attention has focused on Chechnya, the persecution stops for awhile.
But in late December, authorities rounded up 40 people and tortured two of them to death.
Volunteers at the Russian LGBTI Network are working around the clock to get the persecutions not only out of Chechnya, but also Russia.
But to do that they need the support of the LGBTI community around the world.
That’s why hundreds of people crowded around the Russian embassy in London to make sure their voices are heard.
‘LGBTI people in Chechnya urgently need our help to save them from imprisonment, torture and murder. DONATIONS.
The rally in memory of LGBT victims in Chechnya was held in Amsterdam (Netherlands) on the Homomonument on January 20, 2019.
LGBT World Beside is an organization founded by refugees who survived the “first wave” of LGBT persecution in Chechnya. We and our friends and relatives who remained in Russia are living witnesses of how the Chechen authorities tried purposely violate us.
Now that a new wave of persecution has begun in Chechnya, we are again afraid for ourselves and for the safety of our loved ones,there. We demand from the Russian authorities to end up persecution and physical violence against LGBT in Chechnya and effectively investigate all crimes of the past weeks.
We also appeal to the world community, to the authorities of democratic states that have signed the World Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Status of Refugees, not to refuse assistance to LGBT refugees from Chechnya, who literally have to choose between life and death.