May 17 is a day that tells us about silence. In particular, it tell us that silence can be deadly dangerous. It's a day that reminds us that it is deadly dangerous to agree with the silence that the homophobic part of our society forces us to engage with.They suggest that we should sit at home and remain invisible. That we should sit at home, that we should pretend that we are the same as they are. Pretend that we share their cowardice, their conformity, their facelessness. But we say no to that! We value our individuality and our freedom. We do not agree to hide it.


Every year on the May 17 people all over the world celebrate the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia (IDAHOT). This is one of the most important days for the LGBT community. On May 17, 1990, the World Health Organization (WHO) excluded homosexuality from the international classification of diseases. This marked an immense step towards equality. Since 2004, people celebrate this day worldwide to draw attention to issues of discrimination and violence against LGBT people. This year, a variety of events dedicated to honoring May 17 happened in more than 130 countries, including those 37 countries in which same-sex sexual relations are prohibited by law.


The state can not have a presumption of innocence. Lawyers will probably disagree with me on this matter, but I am convinced of this. The state is guilty by definition if it is being accused of violations of human rights. It must prove that it does not violate human rights. For this to happen we must not be afraid to ask uncomfortable questions, we must not be afraid to reach out to the victims, whoever they are. We must remember how easy it is to deceive us, how easy it is to scare us, with Muslims, Chechens, gays. The capacity of modern media to create an image of an enemy is immense. And then we must not give in to the fascist inside us.


May 17 marks the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOT). On the 17th of May 2017, the Report on the activities of the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation for 2016 was published. The second event highlights the crucial importance of the first one.


The Russian LGBT Network continues its efforts to evacuate homosexuals from Chechnya. As of today, 80 people requested assistance. 42 people were evacuated from the region. The Russian LGBT Network not only assists people in leaving the Republic, but also provides them with temporary housing, 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. While the team of the Russian LGBT Network continues to evacuate people from the Chechen Republic, our work would be impossible without the support of an immense number of Russian and international organizations.


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.


On April 24, the Regional Court of Moscow upheld the termination of parental rights of a transgender woman Pasha Kaptanovskaya. The judge upheld the previous decision, confirming the termination of her parental rights and restricting her interactions with her son up until he reaches 18 years old.


The Russian LGBT Network continues to work on the evacuation of those persecuted by the authorities in Chechnya because of their real or assumed homosexuality. To date around 60 people have contacted the Russian LGBT Network. Some of these people are still in the area and are in need of urgent evacuation, while others have managed to relocate themselves but nevertheless need further assistance. More than 30 people have already been provided with support. 


“There was an insult to the centuries-old foundations of Chechen society, and to the dignity of Chechen men, as well as to our faith. Thus we promise that retribution will overtake the true instigators, wherever and by whomever they are, without a statute of limitations.”


The Russian LGBT Networks continues its effort to evacuate people, who are being persecuted, tortured, illegally prosecuted, and murdered based on their (assumed) homosexuality. We have all the evidence to believe that these horrid activities are still in place in the Chechen Republic.