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Stonewall on the Chechen crisis

  • Stonewall welcomes the UK government’s condemnation of these crimes against humanity

  • International pressure welcomed by groups based in the region

  • Stonewall calls on Russian authorities to investigate and ensure perpetrators are brought to justice

Stonewall is extremely concerned by recent reports that men believed to be gay or bi are being abducted, tortured or killed in the Russian republic of Chechnya.

Stonewall, Britiain’s leading LGBT equality charity, is working with groups in the region to gain further understanding about the situation, and to ask how we can help to find the safest way forward for those affected.

Due to the nature of the overall human rights situation in the region, and the bleak conditions for LGBT people even prior to this crisis, monitoring what is happening is extremely difficult.

However, according to sources on the ground, over 100 people have been arbitrarily detained in unofficial prisons, where victims are being tortured and forced to disclose personal contacts of other gay or bi men in Chechnya.

After consulting with groups in the area, Stonewall can confirm they are calling for pressure from the international community to stop this violence.

Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive of Stonewall, said: ‘We have all been appalled by the reports coming from the region. This is a grave situation and we, along with many other LGBT groups and human rights organisations, are calling for an immediate halt to the violence, and for those who are detained to be released immediately.

‘We also want to see a thorough investigation of the detention, torture and killing of gay and bi men in Chechnya.’

We will continue to stay in touch with contacts on the ground in Russia, colleagues in the international LGBT movement and other human rights organisations to monitor the situation, and offer any support we can.

A note on Stonewall’s approach to international work:

When incidents like this happen in other countries, it’s absolutely crucial to work with those affected to guide how we respond.

If we act or comment without consultation with local activists, we risk putting already vulnerable groups in further danger, or derailing precarious negotiations.

The international community has condemned these acts, you can add your voice too -  sign the petition.