Russian-speaking queer refugees from post-Soviet countries protested in Koekamp Park in The Hague on April 26, 2023. The event was supported by LGBT World Besides, Free Russia NL, MiGreat, and HET ACTIE FONDS.
More than 20 people gathered in one of the glades. They were holding in their hands the posters with the demands to speed up the procedure and to reduce the waiting period of the interview and the decision-making by the IND for the asylum seekers, as well as to provide BSN numbers to get education and work, to improve the quality of life of the refugees living in camps, including by providing full medical assistance: getting medical advice, providing medication to the needy, administering hormonal therapy to trans-persons. According to protestors, discrimination and homophobia in the refugee camps are quite common. Protesters shouted their appeals to the authorities. The speakers told what problems they had to face in the Netherlands while waiting for a second interview, a decision, a BSN number, and then housing.
The organizers of the protest informed a number of media about the action in advance, but no media came to cover the rally. The IND workers did not approach the protesters either, although they had also been invited to the rally in advance. Russian-speaking asylum seekers and refugees declared that they will continue to fight for the protection of their rights.
On April 22, the first big meeting of leaders, activists, and volunteers was held in Amsterdam. At the meeting, a range of issues were discussed, including the strategy for the development of the organization, its structure, the functionality of activists, future projects, and the appointment of their supervisors. The meeting was very rich and productive. Such meetings will now take place more often to increase the effectiveness of the LGBT World Beside.