It is with impunity that Chechnya perpetuates a genocide against LGBTI + people with the complicity of Vladimir Putin. The European Union must react. A call for the Public Place initiative.

3.743 km. This is the distance between Grozny, the Chechen capital, and Brussels, the European capital. Only 3,743 km from the symbolic heart of the European Union is genocide against the LGBTI + community of Chechnya, Republic of Russia. A genocide at the gates of Europe.

A genocide source of silence as disturbing as indignant on the part of the international community, and more particularly of the European Union which drapes itself in a frightening silence. We denounce this silence contrary to the humanist values ​​which, following the horrors of the Second World War, presided over the founding of Europe so that barbarism and infamy will never happen again.

Let’s not forget the fate reserved for homosexuals by the Nazis. Let’s not forget the death camps. Let’s not forget the pink triangle.

By 2019, everyone should have the right to live their identity, whatever they may be, without having to hide themselves, to hide themselves, to live with the agony of being stigmatized, persecuted or murdered. To fight for everyone to have this right is a constant struggle so that every LBGTI + person in the world feels supported not to have to live in a state of permanent terror and stupefaction. To fight so that they can assert themselves freely. This fight must be conducted with uncompromising firmness and urgency.

However, since 2017, a genocidal mechanism against LGBTI + persecuted for what they are, is under way in Chechnya. Stigmatization, denunciation, persecution, rape, torture, executions, imprisonment in “camps”. The many testimonies agree, it is well in a planned and systemic way that the Chechen power organizes this crime against humanity under the complicit eye of Moscow and in a quasi international omerta. These abuses are rooted in the logic of a power for which the general violation of human rights is the rule.

The facts speak for themselves:

In 2017, Zelimkhan Bakayev , an openly homosexual Russian singer, disappeared in obscure circumstances when he went to his sister’s wedding in Grozny. He was reportedly arrested by the Chechen authorities, detained and tortured in “one camp”, and then murdered 10 hours later, as reported by concordant witnesses. The notoriety of the victim has broken the silence and exposed the atrocities committed by the Chechen authorities.

Since 2017, hundreds of testimonies corroborate this purge systemically organized by the power and under the yoke of President Ramzan Kadyrov against LGBTI + people in Chechnya. As such, the testimony of Adam, a young Chechen who has managed to take refuge in Western Europe evokes, besides the barbarism of aggression, persecution, lynching, the establishment of a “cleansing”. The word is heavy with meaning and the family circle can hardly serve as a place of refuge: Chechen families are incited to murder their supposedly homosexual members in order to “wash their honor”.

In late December 2018, LGBTI associations in Russia revealed that a new wave of arrests of about forty men and women would have taken place. While seemingly less affected, lesbian (or so-called) women as well as transgender people are also targets of the Chechen regime. They would be detained and raped with electroshock sticks.

As stated by Kheda Saratova, a member of the Human Rights Council under the aegis of the President of Chechnya, “the entire Chechen judicial system would treat anyone who killed a close homosexual” with understanding.

All these facts have, moreover, given rise to a “Complaint for genocide against Ramzan Kadyrov” filed by the associations Foam, Stop Homophobia, Asso Committee Idaho France, at the International Criminal Court. We use this word genocide wisely because it corresponds to what is defined in article 211-1 of the French penal code by extending it to any “group determined from any other arbitrary criterion”. We regret that this is not the case in the 1948 UN Convention and believe that the term genocide should be applied also when it applies to LGBTI + persons.

We denounce the impunity with which Chechnya perpetuates genocide and urge the European Union to act. Denouncing this situation would send a strong signal to all those who do not respect the rights of LGBTI + people in Europe and elsewhere.

We therefore urge the European Union to: 

  • denounce these abuses in a common and uncompromising way and no longer in an isolated, ineffective manner, as Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron or Charles Michel punctually did during punctual meetings with Vladimir Putin in 2017. The European Council must adopt a joint declaration and sanctions against Chechnya;
  • to welcome in an automatic and dignified way the asylum applications of Chechens of the LGBTI community, through its Member States, in charge of this policy;
  • to ask for an independent inquiry, other than this sham led by Tatiana Moskalkova, the Duma’s human rights delegate and a prominent homophobe commissioned by Vladimir Putin who, let us recall, voted for the stigmatizing Russian law repressing the homosexual “propaganda” towards minors.

Amnesty underlines that the denunciations of the international community have already made it possible to stop the arrests temporarily after the repression of 2017. A few months before the European elections, if the Union does not speak while it has this eloquent information, she will be complicit in these abuses.

We accuse Ramzan Kadyrov of planning genocide.

We accuse those who are planning the genocide.

We accuse Vladimir Putin of Machiavellian complicity in this genocide.

We therefore urge the European Union to firmly condemn this crime against humanity and to act accordingly before it is too late.

Julien Marsay , graduate of Modern Literature and Jerome Quéré , jurist in European law.

Editor’s note of Obs. This text was written at the initiative of the movement Place Publique, and signed by many personalities. Intertitles and hypertext links are editorial.

The petitioners :

Judith Aquien, cofounder of Thot , general director of Action Emploi Refugee and bearer of cause “Hospitalité” at Place Publique , Antoine Alibert, environmental activist and for equal rights Paris XX, Isabelle Alonso, journalist and novelist, Pascale Arbillot, actress , BAAM Association, reception and accompaniment office for migrants, Pénélope Bagieu, cartoonist, Serge Bagdassarian, comedian, member of the Comédie-Française , Marie-Christine Barrault, actress, Alex Beaupain,author, composer and performer , David Belliard, president of the group of elected ecologists on the Paris council , Benjamin Biolay, author, composer and performer , Dominique Blanc, actress, David Bobée, director and director of the National Dramatic Center of Normandy -Rouen , Kavita Brahmbatt, co-founder of Action Emploi Réfugiés , Saïd Benmouffok, professor of philosophy and co-founder of Place Publique , Farid Bouguettaya, lawyer, Charles Braine, advocate for “Fisheries and Ecology” at Place Publique , Geneviève Brissacwriter and editor, Ian Brossat, PCF deputy to the Mayor of Paris in charge of housing, sustainable housing and emergency shelter issues, Pierre Natnael Bussière, student and co-founder of Place Publique , Guillaume Canet , actor and director, Vincent Carry, director of the festival Nuits sonores and cause for “Culture” at Place Publique , Arnaud Cathrine, writer , Sarah Chiche, writer, psychologist and psychoanalyst, François Cluzet, actor, Maxime Cochard, author and militant LGBTI + , Corine,singer, Catherine Corsini , director, Nicole Croisille , actress and singer, Perrine Daubas, head of the company, Étienne Deshoulières, lawyer at the Paris Bar, Vincent Dedienne, actor, author and comedian, Karima Delli, MEP EELV , Alex Descas, actor, Luc Di Gallo, Militant Génération.s in Seine-Saint-Denis, Arthur Dreyfus, writer , Julien Dufresne-Lamy, writer, Pascal Durand, MEP EELV , Michel Eltchaninoff,President of the New Dissidents , Jérémy Fel, writer , Andréa Ferréol, actress, Diana Filippova, entrepreneur , author and co-founder of Place Publique , Flag !, LGBT staff association of the Ministry of Interior and Justice, Franck Finance-Madureira, journalist, founding president of the Queer Palm (LGBTI + prize of the Cannes Film Festival), Stéphane Foenkinos, director, Marina Foïs, actress, Laure Fourteau-Lemarchand, co-founder of the association Plurielles Éducations , Nicole Garcia,actress and director, Jean-Michel Ganteau, university professor, Michèle Gazier, writer and publisher, Génération.s LGBTI, Jérôme Giusti, lawyer and president of Rights d’urgence , Raphaël Glucksmann, author and co-founder of Place Publique , Guillaume Gouix, actor, Judith Grumbach , documentary director , Jean-Baptiste Gernet, deputy mayor of Strasbourg , Sihem Habchi, president of the Simone de Beauvoir prize , Brice Hillairet, actor and director , Clément Hervieu-Léger,comedian, director and member of the Comédie-Français e, Stéphanie Hochet, writer, Raphaël Imbert, musician, Yves Jeuland, documentary director , Eva Joly, MEP EELV , Thomas Jolly, actor and director, Juliette Kahane, author , Gaël Kamilindi, comedian and resident of the Comédie-Française , Jérôme Karsenti, lawyer and litigator “Justice and Probity” at Place Publique , Thierry Klifa, director , Ibtissame Betty Lachgar, spokesman forAlternative Movement for Individual Freedoms (MALI Morocco), Laurent Lafitte, actor , Pierre Lapointe, singer-songwriter, Aurore Lalucq, economist and member of Génération.s , Alban Lefranc, writer, Jean-Ronan Le Pen, environmental activist, Gilles Lellouche, actor and director, Matthieu Longatte, comedian, author and comedian, Damien Loret, LGBTI national co-referent of the Mouvement Génération.s , Germain Louvet, Parisian Opera ballet dancer , Clara Luciani,singer-songwriter , Alex Lutz, comedian , comedian, director and author , MAG Young LGBT, association, Anne Marivin, actress, Corinne Masiero, actress, Paul Marques Duarte, filmmaker, Edouard Martin, S & D MEP , Nicolas Matyjasik , political scientist – SciencesPo Lille , Mathilde Maulat , general secretary of the Place Publique movement , Marine Mazel, psychologist and “Precarious” cause holder at Place Publique , Guillaume Mélanie,comedian, Nicolas Noguier, inspector of the Sanitary and Social Action , Claire Nouvian, President of the Bloom association and co-founder of Place Publique , Odieux Boby, photographer, Valérie Ozouf, director , Pierre Palmade , author and comedian, Alysson Paradis , actress, Timothy Perkins, teacher ENSCI-the workshops , artist, architect, Louis-Julien Petit, director, Amélie Pichard, head of the company, designer of ready-to-wear, Marianne Pierot, Lawyer at the Paris Bar in foreign law, Raphaël Pitti, humanitarian doctor and elected to the city of Metz, Bruno Perreau, professor at MIT , holder of the Cynthia Reed Chair in French Studies , Malorie Peyrache, LGBTI + national referent of Génération.s , Eric Piolle, Mayor EELV of Grenoble, Denis Podalydès, comedian, director, author, member of the French Comedy, Thomas Porcher, economist and co-founder of the Place Publique movement , Olivier Py, playwright, director and director ofAvignon Festival , the Refuge , an association for young victims of homophobia and transphobia, Rone, electro musician, Laurent Ruquier, TV / radio presenter and author, Maxime Ruszniewski, producer and former ministerial advisor on women’s rights, Bruno Sanches, actor, Didier Sandre, actor, director, resident of the Comédie-Française , Edgar Sekloka, singer-songwriter, Pierre Serne, regional councilor of Île-de-France and spokesman of the Génération movement , Mathieu Simonet, writer,Eric Slabiak, composer, SOS Homophobie, Jo Spiegel, Mayor of Kingersheim and co-founder of Place Publique , Laurent Stocker, actor, member of the Comédie-Française , Tim Dup, singer-songwriter, Christa Theret, actress, Luc Tezenas , jurist, UNEF, student union, Urgence Homophobie, LGBTI + advocacy association, Nadia Vadori-Gauthier, doctor of aesthetics and artist, Thomas Verduzier, president of the association of International Affairs of SciencesPo Paris ,Marie-Christine Vergiat, European Left MEP , Pauline Véron, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of Local Democracy, Citizen Participation, Community Life and Youth, Marie-Pierre Vieu, PCF MP , Karin Viard, Actress, Éric Walther, journalist, Sandrine Zalcman, lawyer at the Court.