LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

Powerful new report released by Russian LGBT Network

“You bring shame on our people; you shouldn’t exist. We will catch all of you...”

The violent campaign against LGBT people in Chechnya may not be in the media headlines to the same extent as it was following the harrowing Novaya Gazeta revelations in April 2017. However, that does not mean that the persecution has stopped – far from it.

In a major report just released by the Russian LGBT Network, three main ‘waves’ of violations of the rights of LGBT people are identified. The so-called third wave, which commenced in June after Ramadan, is still ongoing.

Powerful personal testimonies of more than 30 people are contained in the pages of the Network’s report, along with background on the overall human rights context in Chechnya, and the Network’s own conclusions.

Over 130 people have contacted the Russian LGBT Network for assistance during the past four months, with over 60 people being moved to safe houses in central parts of Russia.

But we know that this is not the end of the story.

Many victims remain detained in illegal detentions camps, facing torture and inhuman treatment – their imminent release and a halt to illegal detentions of homosexual and bisexual men (or those perceived to be) is a top priority. Meanwhile, those victims who have been released (and in some cases, their family members) need further assistance to be relocated outside Russia, as their anonymity, and therefore their safety, has been compromised.

ILGA-Europe are working closely with LGBTI activists and several European governments to make sure victims of these human rights violations can escape, be granted visas, and receive the support they need on arrival. Furthermore, an investigation into the atrocities, including effective remedy for the victims, is necessary.

That’s why ILGA-Europe continue to call for:

  • the immediate release of those still detained,
  • asylum for those who are fleeing,
  • the international community to exert what influence it has on the highest levels of Russian authorities to ensure that the investigation launched several months ago is carried out effectively and that those responsible are brought to justice.

**Content warning: the report contains testimonies that describe the conditions of detention and torture suffered by the victims.**

And everyone reading this can be part of the effort – all donations made to our Chechnya fund will be used to directly support victims in the medium-long term.