Last week GLAAD – the world’s LGBTQ media advocacy organization – released a public call urging U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley to condemn the violent attacks on LGBTQ men in Chechnya and investigate reports of anti-LGBTQ concentration camps set up by the Chechen government. GLAAD’s public call received widespread support on Twitter. Today Ambassador Haley released a statement.
“We continue to be disturbed by reports of kidnapping, torture, and murder of people in Chechnya based on their sexual orientation and those persecuted by association. If true, this violation of human rights cannot be ignored – Chechen authorities must immediately investigate these allegations, hold anyone involved accountable, and take steps to prevent future abuses.
We are against all forms of discrimination, including against people based on sexual orientation. When left unchecked, discrimination and human rights abuses can lead to destabilization and conflict.
Tomorrow, the United States will lead a first-ever meeting on human rights in international conflicts in the UN Security Council to underscore our commitment to addressing human rights abuses wherever they threaten international peace and security.”
“The attacks on LGBTQ men and reports of concentration camps in Chechnya were beyond horrific, and Ambassador Haley is taking the right step in speaking out against these blatant violations of human rights,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President and CEO. “This is a powerful sign that the U.S. Mission to the United Nations will continue to prioritize LGBTQ acceptance and fight discrimination and human rights abuses around the world.”
GLAAD’s call to action for Ambassador Haley to speak out followed reports that more than 100 LGBTQ men are being detained in Russian-controlled Chechnya because of their perceived sexual orientation, with three men allegedly being killed. Last week, international media outlets including the International Business Times released disturbing stories around two suspected concentration camp-style prisons where the men are forced to endure many forms of physical and verbal abuse at the hands of government officials including electrocution and violent beatings. Some are reportedly being held from their families at ransom.
In addition to Ambassador Haley’s remarks, other world leaders have also publicly condemned Chechnya’s reported torture on LGBTQ men.
- U.S. Department of State
- A panel of five experts who advise the United Nations Human Rights Council
- Former Vice President Joe Biden
- U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer
- Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)
- French Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- The U.S House LGBT Caucus
- Anne Frank Center
- United Kingdom’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office
- Members of the United Kingdom Parliament from the Labour, Conservatives and the Green Party
- Debbie Wasserman Schultz - United States Congresswomen and Former DNS Chair
- The Rainbow NZ Parliamentary Network
- Chrystia Freeland - Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs
- Julie Bishop - Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs
- Boris Johnson - Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs in the United Kingdom,
- Federica Mogherini - High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
- Antonio Tajani - President of the European Parliament
- Tim Wilson - Member of the Australian Parliament and Former Australian Human Rights Commissioner
About GLAAD: GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBTQ acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love. For more information, please visit www.glaad.org or connect with GLAAD on Facebook and Twitter.