Russian police have detained LGBT activists attempting to raise awareness about the persecution of gay men in Chechnya. The demonstration was held during a May Day march in St Petersburg, with a group of around 10 protesters arrested near the Anichkov Bridge in the centre of Russia’s second city. Officers in riot gear were shown arresting protesters and dragging them to a police van. A separate group of gay-rights protesters were detained with placards that called for the Chechen leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, to be tried at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.One activist was taken away in an ambulance after he appeared to have "fainted." The action was in protest at the systemic persecution of gay men in the Russian republic of Chechnya.
More than 100 men have been rounded up and detained in secret prisons by authorities in recent weeks, with many beaten and tortured, the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta claimed. At least four are alleged to have been killed.
Mr Kadyrov said “If there were gay people in Chechnya, the law-enforcement agencies wouldn’t need to have anything to do with them because their relatives would send them somewhere from which there is no returning.” Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman has backed the Chechen government’s denials that men suspected of being gay are being detained, tortured and killed. Human Rights Watch (HRW) is scathing about the Russian government treatment of LGBT citizens. The group accuses the Kremlin of “failing in their obligation to prevent and prosecute homophobic violence”.
“Growing numbers of LGBT people have been attacked and harassed across Russia in the lead-up and aftermath of the adoption of the federal anti-LGBT ‘propaganda’ law in June 2013.
“The law effectively legalised discrimination against LGBT people and cast them as second-class citizens.”
In interviews it conducted with gay and lesbian Russians, HRW said LGBT people described being "physically attacked by strangers during their everyday activities".
The aformentioned events of homophobia and the lack of security and safety of LGBT citizens in Russia and Chechnya as we all know is apauling. We realise these people need help, they need guidance and they need it fast.
Help them all Out is also running an emergency fundraiser to help the Russian LGBT Network evacuate and support gay men at risk of being captured and tortured in Chechnya. You can make a donation here.
Gay men are being kidnapped and killed in Chechnya, Russia.
Over the weekend, horrifying news broke that more than 100 men have been arrested under suspicion of being gay. There are reports of people being tortured, beaten, and forced to share information about other gay men in the region. At least three men have been murdered. The official response from Chechen authorities is that "gay people do not even exist in Chechnya." Demand that Federal Russian authorities immediately investigate these atrocities and bring to justice all those responsible for the arrests, torture, and killings of gay men in Chechnya.
This campaign is being run in conjunction with the Russian LGBT Network. The funds go directly to the network and are distributed and spent directly on providing safe refuge for vulnerable people and spreading the word quickly to known members. We are also working on Asylum for those who need it most. Time is running fast and kidnappings are happening as you read this. £10 goes a long way in Russia and Chechnya. Your donation can help with safety, accomodation and food. It is imperative these people are not exterminated. The Russian LGBT network and Help them all out are urgently working on refuge as a priority. Please donate whatever you can afford. You could be saving a life.