—- Trigger warning: reference to homophobia and violence —-
This week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, to investigate reports that gay men are being violently persecuted in the Russian region of Chechnya.
The news comes after a petition was started by gay rights activist Igor, in Moscow. Disturbed by reports that gay men were being rounded up, tortured and killed in the region, he started campaigning for the Russian Government to investigate these reports.
So far 351,000 people from around the world have signed the petition. Igor believes the news that Angela Merkel has intervened is a sign public pressure is working. Will you help him to keep up the pressure by supporting his campaign?
Over a hundred men have been rounded up in Chechnya recently, subjected to humiliation and torture, solely upon suspicion of being gay.
Media suspects mass murders. At this point three men have been confirmed as killed. Early in April Novaya Gazeta published two articles, “Honor Killings” (No 34, 3 April 2017) and “Reprisals Against Chechen Gays” (No35, 05 April 2017), in which a witness stated, “the detained were tortured, violated with a bottle, electrocuted. Some were beaten nearly to death and returned to their relatives like a sack of bones. I definitely know of two deaths…” (More info in NYTimes article)
According to the same paper, the “gay hunt” is being carried out by local law enforcement as a “prophylactic” measure. Targets for such “prophylactics” in Chechnya are many: the use of alcohol and light narcotics, extramarital sexual relationships, “incorrect” appearance, suspicion of extremism, even just traffic violations. This time the cause is an issue that locals traditionally don’t speak about. Those close to the killed haven’t come forward to authorities, fearing their families could be “shamed,” and also because of unofficial support for “honor killings” on the part of authorities themselves. Check also this Dazed article for more info.
We demand a full investigation of all the facts about unlawful repression in Chechnya of LGBT population, punishment for the guilty parties and an end to the practice of extra-judicial violence and killings in the republic.
This petition will be delivered toYury Chaika, Prosecutor General of Russia.