News Update: Persecution of LGBT People in Chechnya - May 16

The Russian LGBT Network continues its efforts to evacuate homosexuals from Chechnya. As of today, more than 80 people requested assistance. Forty-two people were evacuated from the region. The Russian LGBT Network not only assists people in leaving the Chechen Republic, but also provides them with temporary housing and basic necessities and offers psychological, medical, and legal help. We also use our best efforts to relocate the victims abroad.  For many of them to stay in the country means to put their lives at great risk.

We are saddened and perplexed by the fact that while many foreign governments promised to accept the homosexual refugees from Chechnya, we are still facing many bureaucratic complications in obtaining visas for the victims. We call for the EU authorities to acknowledge the seriousness of this matter and to do everything that is possible to save the lives of people.

According to some reports, the detentions of people in Chechnya have currently stopped, and some people who were detained during the so-called “second wave” are released. At the same time, we receive alarming reports that representatives of the local law enforcement agencies contact relatives of the victims. The law enforcement officers began to pressure the relatives to sign the “no complaints” statements, saying they don’t have any complaints regarding the detentions of their homosexual family members.

The Russian LGBT Network continues to work on a conclusive report on the situation in the Chechen Republic. The report will be ready for publication towards the end of May.