News update: persecution of LGBT people in Chechnya - July 11

Over the last couple of months, the Russian LGBT Network has been doing everything to rescue people who are persecuted in the Chechen Republic because of their (alleged) homosexuality. The Network has been using its best efforts to force the Russian authorities to conduct an effective investigation. Since the beginning of April, more than 120 people applied for emergency assistance through the hotline [email protected]. More than 60 people were evacuated from the region; 27 found sanctuary outside of Russia.

Earlier we announced that according to the information that we have been receiving the arrests of the LGBT people in Chechnya have come to an end. Today we are saddened to acknowledge that persecutions of LGBT people started again. Moreover, we know that both the victims and their relatives have experienced threats. The authorities are threatening to press criminal charges against them based on false accusations.

On Sunday, July 9, the Novaya Gazeta published an article saying that dozens of men were executed in the Chechen Republic in January 2017. They listed the names of the victims. After this article was published, many media outlets claimed that all 27 of these men were gay. We acknowledge that earlier the Investigative Committee of Russia has received information about people who were murdered in Chechnya (including the names of homosexual men). As far as we concerned, the list of names that appeared in that publication does not include homosexual people.

The law enforcement agencies of the Russian Federation continue to remain silent on the matter. They are yet to announce the information about the investigative processes. The Network will use its best efforts to make sure that the crime against humanity that has been happening and Chechnya will be investigated and those responsible will be held accountable.