Urge Chechen authorities to investigate reports of serious human rights violations against gay men and hold those responsible to account.

CHECHNYA: STOP ABDUCTING AND KILLING GAY MEN

Chechen authorites must stop 'preventive mopping up' of people they deem undesirable. 

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MEMBERS OF THE LGBTI COMMUNITY HAVE A RIGHT TO FEEL SAFE 

Over a hundred men suspected of being gay have been abducted, tortured and even killed in the southern Russian republic of Chechnya according to credible sources inside the country.

The Chechen government won’t admit that gay men even exist in Chechnya, let alone that they ordered what the police call 'preventive mopping up' of people they deem undesirable. We urgently need your help to call out the Chechen authorities on the persecution of people who are, as they put it, of 'non-traditional orientation', and urge immediate action to ensure their safety.

ABDUCTIONS, TORTURE AND KILLINGS 

According to independent daily newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, more than 100 men suspected of being gay have been abducted as part of a coordinated campaign. It claims the men have been tortured and otherwise ill-treated, and three are reported to have been killed by their captors – but there could be more.

Call on Chechen authorities to urgently investigate these reports of serious human rights violations against gay men and hold those responsible to account >>

 

BACKGROUND

Government coverup

Far from taking responsibility, the Chechen authorities deny that gay men even exist in Chechnya.

‘You cannot arrest or repress people who just don’t exist in the republic,’ Kadyrov spokesman Alvi Karimov told Interfax. ‘If there were such people in Chechnya, the law-enforcement organs wouldn’t need to have anything to do with them because their relatives would send them somewhere from which there is no returning.’

And he would be right.

'Honour killings'

Even though some men have reportedly been released - possibly because their captors were unable to verify their sexual orientation - they remain in grave danger because of local homophobia and intolerance. They may even be at risk of being killed by their own families.

'Honour killings' are still practiced in the North Caucasus, particularly in deeply conservative Chechnya. Men deemed to have ‘tarnished’ the family’s honour are often killed by a family member.

Kheda Saratova, a member of the Human Rights Council, has commented that Chechen society and Chechnya’s 'whole justice system' would treat anyone who kills a gay relative 'with understanding'.

She later claimed that she had been misunderstood and that the revelation that there were gay men in Chechnya had shocked her so much that she was unable to think clearly.

Growing anti-gay sentiment

According to Novaya Gazeta, an atmosphere of anti-gay feeling has been growing in Chechnya since early March when local media reported that Moscow-based gay rights group GayRussia.ru had applied for permits to stage gay rights rallies across Russia, including in Muslim-majority regions.

Members of the NGO Russian LGBT Network have created a hotline offering help to those who may be looking for safety outside the region.


Further action

Write a letter: Russian Federation: Newspaper threatened for reporting on abductions

 
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To: Sergei Vasilievich Sokolov,
Acting Head of the Investigation Committee for the Chechen Republic
 

I call on you to:

Carry out prompt, effective and thorough investigations into the reports of abductions and killings of men believed to be gay in Chechnya and to ensure that anyone found guilty or complicit in such crimes will be brought to justice in accordance with the laws of the Russian Federation;

Take all necessary steps to ensure safety of any individual who may be at risk in Chechnya because of their sexual orientation and to condemn in the strongest terms possible any discriminatory comments made by officials;

Stand by your international human rights obligation to prohibit discrimination and to investigate and prosecute hate crimes, the most invidious form of discrimination.

Sincerely,
 
 


To: Sergei Vasilievich Sokolov,
Acting Head of the Investigation Committee for the Chechen Republic
 

I call on you to:

Carry out prompt, effective and thorough investigations into the reports of abductions and killings of men believed to be gay in Chechnya and to ensure that anyone found guilty or complicit in such crimes will be brought to justice in accordance with the laws of the Russian Federation;

Take all necessary steps to ensure safety of any individual who may be at risk in Chechnya because of their sexual orientation and to condemn in the strongest terms possible any discriminatory comments made by officials;

Stand by your international human rights obligation to prohibit discrimination and to investigate and prosecute hate crimes, the most invidious form of discrimination. 


Sincerely,

  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
 
 
 
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