The Russian LGBT Network continues its work to provide emergency support for people who suffered as a result of mass anti-LGBT campaign organized by the Chechen authorities. Since April 2017, the Network evacuated 130 people from the region (100 men and 30 women), 112 people have already left Russia. Since April 2017, there were seven attempts to kidnap people already evacuated from the region.
In spite of the numerous complaints to the law enforcement agencies, the Russian authorities did not do anything to stop violence. Moreover, they deny even the existence of LGBT people in Chechnya. At the same time, on August 22, the court of Yessentuki found lawful the refusal to initiate criminal proceeding under the complaint submitted by Maxim Lapunov. Maxim Lapunov is still the only person who publicly stated that he was illegally detained, imprisoned and tortured in the Chechen Republic.
On August 31, 15 OSCE countries invoked Vienna Human Dimension Mechanism because of the reports about “alleged worrying actions taken by Chechen authorities against persons based on their perceived or actual sexual orientation or gender identity, as well as human right defenders, lawyers, independent media, civil society organizations, and others”. Within this mechanism, Russia was supposed to provide answers to the four asked questions1 but did not do that.
On September 12, the representative of the Russian LGBT Network Igor Kochetkov made a statement at the annual OSCE Conference in Warsaw and called the OSCE member-states to use all the existing mechanisms to protect the victims of the crimes committed on the territory of the Russian Federation and provide these victims with access to justice.
1 Information requested under the Vienna (Human Dimension) Mechanism