New wave of persecutions in Chechnya


New wave of persecutions in Chechnya points at the need for action from the international community

RFSL – the Swedish Federation for LGBTQ rights, is deeply concerned with the reports of continuing persecution against LGBT community in the republic of Chechnya and calls on the Russian Federal authorities to ensure that the violence stops, cases are investigated and justice is brought to the survivors and victims of these crimes.

On January 11, Russian independent media outlets Novaya Gazeta and Meduza reported about a new wave of persecutions against LGBT people in the republic of Chechnya. According to the sources, that are also confirmed by the Russian LGBT Network, the crackdown, that caused international outcry in 2017 and continued throughout 2018, continued with renewed forces at the end of December last year.

Currently, the Russian LGBT Network continues to receive accounts of new detentions (approximately 40 persons) with 2 alleged deaths as a result of torture in Chechen underground detention sites. According to survivors, the local authorities that seem to be behind the crackdown, are confiscating documents to ensure that survivors do not leave the region.

– It is horrifying that the trend of illegal detentions and torture of LGBT people continue in the republic of Chechnya. We call on the authorities to take immediate action to investigate the cases and make sure that the violence stops. We urge the international community to continue to put pressure on the Russian authorities and support the victims in Chechnya through the activists working on the ground. States Sandra Ehne, President of RFSL.

Recently the regional security organization OSCE released a report on human rights violations in Chechnya. The report, prepared within the frames of the so called OSCE Moscow Mechanism, confirms the facts of torture and illegal detentions of members of LGBT community in the republic of Chechnya throughout 2017 and 2018 and provides recommendations to the Russian government on how to tackle the situation. Just as in all the previous cases of international outcry, the Russian authorities have not offered any constructive response to the report or the discussion following its release.

RFSL maintains communication with the Russian LGBT Network, which between 2017-2018 helped evacuate over 130 individuals from the republic of Chechnya. According to the activists, informational and financial support are crucial to help mitigate the situation. We urge you to help enable the activists with funding needed to continue saving lives by donating to RFSL here. All donations will be channelled directly to the Russian LGBT Network.