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.

Homophobe killed two Russian gay retirees.

Photo: Alina Desyatnichenko / Novaya Gazeta

In the Kuban stanitsa Ilskaya criminal committed the murder of two retired homosexuals. The alleged killer confessed, the investigation calls homophobia a priority version of the crime, Novaya Gazeta writes.

The bodies of those killed by 70-year-old Vladimir Dubentsov and 64-year-old Nikolai Galdin were found on the evening of 10 January. According to the newspaper, men were harassed by neighbors, Cossacks and other residents of the village. One of the neighbors expressed his emotions about the murder as follows: “Everyone was very upset that they were killed! So upset that we do not know where to go for joy! ”

The name of the alleged killer is Alexander Fet-Ogly, he was arrested, and he was charged. The 23-year-old Fet-Ogly, according to the police, was previously convicted of burglary and was serving mandatory work in the village administration.

The arrested confessed. According to his version, he drank along with the pensioners, then they began to pester him, which was the reason for the murder.

In December 2018, it became known that Shoto-Shamil Akayev and Ayub Ibrahimov, prisoners of a secret gay prison, were found dead with their heads shot. The Chechen Interior Ministry claimed that the men were killed while trying to attack Chechen policemen. The information provided by the Ministry of Internal Affairs did not coincide with the data of forensic medical reports and protocols for the examination of corpses. According to forensic scientists, both men were killed at close range with shots to the back of the head.




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.


On January 12, in Sofia, in Gallery 2.0, we presented the film WAITING FOR COLOR to the director and choreographer Kosta Karakashian.

Waiting For Color is a documentary that reveals the serious reality of the persecution of LGBTI + people in Chechnya. The product is produced by Kosta Karakashian and Studio Karakashian and is distributed in partnership with Single Step.

Its content is inspired by the confessions of arrests, torture and blackmail that gay citizens have been subjected to since 2017. Using the memories of 33 bold survivors who share their stories anonymously, the film explores topics such as paranoia, trauma and hope.

A dazzling dance in our minds, the author aims to cope with the emotions Chechnya prisoners face: brutality, sense of supervision and helplessness.

We urge you to share the movie with your loved ones and online and keep track of the cause.