ICYMI: LGBTQ men face terrorism charges if they flee Chechnya, Trump remains silent

After more than 100 days, President Trump refuses to answer GLAAD’s call to condemn attacks on LGBTQ community in Chechnya

NEW YORK – GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, today expressed outrage over President Trump’s continued silence on the attacks against LGBTQ men in Chechnya even as new reports indicate that members of the Chechen LGBTQ community could face terrorism charges if these men attempt to escape the country and attacks on them based on their perceived sexual orientation.

President Trump and his administration have displayed clear negligence to a humanitarian crisis happening in Russia-controlled Chechnya where more than 100 LGBTQ men are said to have been detained and attacked simply because of their perceived sexual orientation. Additionally, about 27 men have reportedly been killed by Chechen government officials. It has been over 100 days since GLAAD has called on President Trump to use the power of the presidency and denounce this anti-LGBTQ violence happening in Chechnya, but this call has been treated with silence.

Politicians and human rights activists across the globe, including British Prime Minister Theresa MayGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel, and former Vice President of the United States Joe Biden, have all condemned the horrific violence in Chechnya. Yet still, President Trump has chosen to remain silent.

GLAAD has led the charge in calling on the Trump Administration to recognize this humanitarian crisis since the news broke about the anti-LGBTQ attacks and reported concentration camps. Before the White House informed The Washington Blade the attacks did not come up in a meeting between Presidents Trump and Vladimir Putin during the G20 Summit in Germany, GLAAD joined The Council for Global Equality and many others in releasing a letter calling on the Trump Administration to address the anti-LGBTQ attacks in Chechnya. Prior to the letter, GLAAD also called on Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, to recognize the attacks and use the United States’ presence in the United Nations to condemn the attacks. After a week-long online campaign where thousands of supporters joined GLAAD’s voice, Haley denounced the violence in Chechnya. However, President Trump – the leader of the United States of America – remains silent.

The full story by Russian publication Crime Russia is below.

ICYMI: Crime Russia: No escape from Russia: Chechen gays are accused of terrorism so they cannot flee country

The authorities of Chechnya have found a new way of persecuting Chechen homosexuals following they cannot leave Russia. Gay men are charged with terrorism and are wanted as supporters of the Islamic State (an organization banned on the territory of the Russian Federation).

Chechen security forces visit homosexuals’ relatives and demand to write statements about the departure of their children to Syria, employees of two human rights organizations told Kavkaz.Realii edition.

"The policy of the Chechen law enforcement agencies is such: it is easier for them to immediately state that the person was recruited and he left for Syria. Most likely, this is designed to ensure that people, who do not want to live in those conditions, did not go anywhere. Because this one message about leaving for Syria is not the end. His entire family will have a monkey on their back, Kadyrovtsy (Head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov’s special forces officers – Ed.) will impose pressure on them," the interlocutor of Kavkaz.Realii explained.

According to the edition, the police of Chechnya have already announced the search for several homosexuals on suspicion of terrorism.

Recall that previously BBC journalists reported that the relatives of the disappeared residents of the Republic were forced to write statements about leaving for Syria. As the CrimeRussia previously wrote, the Chechens disappeared after mass arrests in December-January 2016-2017, which began after the attack on policemen in Grozny on the night of December 17. Novaya Gazeta reported that at least 27 detainees were shot to death.

Information about the hard oppression of gays in Chechnya appeared in Novaya Gazeta in April this year. According to the press, mass purges among homosexuals were held in the Republic. It was also pointed out that secret prisons, where men were held and tortured, operated in the region. In connection with these publications, Tatyana Moskalkova, the Human Rights Ombudswoman in the Russian Federation, applied to law enforcement agencies to verify this information. At the end of June, the Ombudswoman once again stated that she did not receive a single appeal about violations of the rights of LGBT community representatives in Chechnya. Despite this, media publish new stories from gay refugees, who managed to leave the Republic. They talk about tortures and murders, which began in 2009.