WHAT IT IS
- Chechen authorities are capturing members of the LGBT community in the region and subjecting them to harmful interrogations and treatment.
- The abuse was first reported by Novaya Gazeta, a newspaper in opposition to Chechnya’s leader, Ramzan A. Kadyrov.
- Reports state the targeting of LGBT individuals began when GayRussia, a rights group in Moscow, requested a permit for a pride parade in the Caucasus region.
- The capturings began in February, and since then it’s reported that at least 100 individuals have been affected and several are dead.
WHY IT MATTERS
Kadyrov’s persistent denial of this community and the abuses against it has lead to difficulties for victims looking to flee the country. Many Chechens are in safe houses in Russia while hoping to be granted visas to flee to western countries, but most European embassies, including the British embassy, have declined visas or travel documents. Because nothing has been concrete with the continuous denial, other countries understand the predicament but cannot aid members of the community.
WHERE WE ARE NOW
- France welcomed its first gay refugee from Chechnya.
- Russia has launched an investigation into the abuses.
- Kadyrov has invited German Chancellor Merkel and French President Macron to investigate the region for the camps.
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT
- Is it the leaders or the citizens who have a strong opposition the non-normative sexual orientations? Or both?
- Could this develop into another refugee crisis?