Don’t stand idly by while LGBT people are being imprisoned, tortured and murdered in Chechnya
Recently the phrase ‘never again’ has resurfaced after reports of gay men being rounded up in Chechnya, imprisoned in concentration camps, interrogated, tortured and killed made international news.
There has been an outpouring of indignation online and support has been abundant across social media. But LGBT people and their allies in Ireland are probably asking themselves: “What can I do to help LGBT people imprisoned in Chechnya?”
Well here are a few things you can do.
Action Against Concentration Camps for Gay Men in Chechnya have planned a protest on Thursday April 20 from 4pm to 7pm outside the Russian Embassy in Dublin.
So if you really want to make a difference, get down to 186 Orwell Rd in Rathgar to raise awareness of the atrocities being carried out in Chechnya.
Why the Russian Embassy? Chechnya is federal subject of Russia, and despite eye witness reports, the Kremlin have denied any knowledge of this ‘purge’ on gay men, concentration camps, torture or murder.
Here’s some more info from the protest’s event page on Facebook:
With the troubling news coming form the Russian occupied territory of Chechnya about the rounding up of gay men and the concentration camps it is very important for the international community to gather and let the Russian authorities know they cannot commit acts like this.
Join us on Thursday afternoon at 4 in front of the Russian Embassy in Rathgar.
Bring rainbow flags, bring pink triangles to symbolise the gay men who died in German concentration camps during World War II.
In the face of such blatant hostility toward the LGBT community, turning up to protest is a great way make your voice heard and fight for Chechen LGBT rights.
The Irish branch of Amnesty International have created a petition to investigate the reports of gay men in Chechnya being detained in concentration camps and killed.
In addition the petition urges for steps “to ensure safety of any individual who may be at risk in Chechnya because of their sexual orientation”.
Below is the online petition on Amnesty’s website:
Dear Chairman, Dear Acting Head,
I am writing to you to express my concern about reports that men believed to be gay are being abducted, tortured or even killed in Chechnya as part of a coordinated campaign with impunity.
The Russian and Chechen authorities have an international human rights obligation to prohibit discrimination and to investigate and prosecute hate crimes, the most invidious form of discrimination.
I urge you to:
• Carry out prompt, effective and thorough investigations into the reports of abductions and killings of men believed to be gay in Chechnya and to ensure that anyone found guilty or complicit in such crimes will be brought to justice in accordance with the laws of the Russian Federation;
• Take all necessary steps to ensure safety of any individual who may be at risk in Chechnya because of their sexual orientation and to condemn in the strongest terms possible any discriminatory comments made by officials
Mr Gay Ireland Activists have also created a petition online entitled Irish Unite Against Chechen Camps, which is calling on the: “Irish government to respect human rights laws by taking a stand against the violent persecution” of LGBT people in Chechnya.
“Silence = Death,” the petition asserts, “and we as a nation need to speak up for the global LGBT community that fear to speak for themselves.”
The current Mr Gay Ireland, Stephen Lehane, said that he wanted to mobilise people to help support LGBTs in
Some groups are raising funds to help extract LGBT people from Chechnya in an emergency evacuation.
All Out are one such organisation which are aiming to raise $4000 to fund their evacuation operation.
“Gay men are being thrown in illegal prisons and tortured in Chechnya,” the All Out website states.
“The Russian LGBT Network can help gay men at risk escape to safety. But they’re running out of resources and need our help.
“Donate today to help fund the emergency evacuation of gay men at risk in Chechnya.”
To give a donation which will help fund the emergency evacuation visit the All Out website here.