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Minister for Europe calls for urgent investigation into persecution of LGBT people in Chechnya

This week, the Russia LGBT Network reported two people were killed and 40 more detained due to their sexuality

2019-01-17

Words: Steve Brown

The Minister for Europe has called for an investigation into the persecution of LGBT+ people in Chechnya.

The Russia LGBT Network reported this week that two people have been killed and 40 more have been detained in a new crackdown on the LGBT+ community in the predominately Muslim region of Russia.

Back in 2017, it was reported that more than 100 gay men were arrested, tortured and killed in Chechnya and when Chechen authorities denied the accusations, a probe found nothing to support the reports.

And now, Minister Sir Alan Duncan has called for urgent investigation into the new reports calling the crackdown “utterly appalling”.

He said in a statement published on Gov.uk: “The persecution of LGBT people in Chechnya is utterly appalling. Recent reports indicate that two people have died in custody following torture, and a further 40 remain in detention – all simply for their sexual orientation.

“Persecution for being LGBT, in any country in the world, is abhorrent.

“The Russian authorities must protect their people from these human rights abuses, and conduct a credible investigation into these reports immediately.

“There should be no climate of impunity for those who commit these abuses.

“We and the international community have repeatedly called for the Russian Government to conduct an investigation and hold those responsible for human rights abuses in Chechnya to account, including through the 2018 OSCE Moscow Mechanism.

“All decent people very much hope that Chechnya can put an end to this sort of barbaric persecution and step into the modern world of civility and tolerance.

“Following similar reports in 2017, the OSCE Moscow Mechanism, invoked by the UK and 15 other countries in 2018, set out recommendations to Russia.

“We urge the Russian Government to implement these recommendations as a matter of urgency, and to uphold its international human rights obligations to its people.”