Chechnya – What can you do?

Kadyrov has called for the “elimination” of the gay community by the end of May. – Pink News

Ramzan Kadyrov.

Don’t know that name? Google it. The head of the Chechen republic has a history of violence and human rights violations that go back more than a decade. Not only dies he inspire, incite and order others to violence, but he has personally participated in many of these incidents of killings and torture himself.

On April 1, I read a New York Times article reporting that gay men were simply disappearing in Chechnya. That authorities there were rounding up gay men and men suspected of being gay, and that one of the ways they were doing this was by doing things like posing as gay themselves online to trap people.*

Shortly thereafter came the reports of torture camps and detention centers.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I had a long

In that same article, a spokesman for Kadyrov denies the allegations calling such actions impossible:
You cannot arrest or repress people who just don’t exist in the republic. If such people existed in Chechnya, law enforcement would not have to worry about them, as their own relatives would have sent them to where they could never return.*

Over the next week, and in the weeks since, I’ve read article after article and blog post after blog post about this. I’ve seen aid organizations speak out about it. Several organizations are now doing whatever they can to assist these men. But do you know what I haven’t seen?

There hasn’t been a statement from the Whitehouse. Not one word. Why hasn’t Trump spoken out against Kadyrov? That’s a rhetorical question, of course, we all know why – but how can our government remain silent in the face of these horrific events?

Wait: Nikki Haley apparently did speak out against what she called “discrimination” and called upon the Chechan authorities to investigate the allegations.

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.**

That’s not likely, since the “authorities” themselves are carrying out these atrocities. The inaction and doublespeak is nothing short of unconscionable.

And now? Kadyrov has called for the “elimination” of the gay community by the end of May (the start of Ramadan).***

GAY MEN IN CHECHNYA NEED OUR HELP NOW.

If you’re an author who would like to get involved, please sign up at Authors & Publishers for LGBT Chechens. There, you can also find answers to frequently asked questions about the auction, royalty donations, the charitable organizations that are helping out LGBT Chechens, and more.

If you are a reader who would like to learn more about the situation in Chechnya and how to help — including how to make a direct donation to a designated charity, buy a book from a participating author, or support the auction — please visit Readers & Writers for LGBT Chechens. You’ll find more information, as well as links and graphics you can add to your own blog, social media, or your website.

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* Chechen Authorities Arresting and Killing Gay Men, Russian Paper Says, New York Times April 1, 2017
** Nikki Haley: U.S. ‘disturbed’ by gay Chechnya arrests, Washington Blade, April 17, 2017
*** Chechnya’s president: I will eliminate the gay community by the start of Ramadan, Pink News, April 21, 2017

Trackbacks

  1. […] In Chechnya – What can you do?, author Jodi Payne wrote about Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov’s threat to “eliminate” the gay community in Chechnya by the end of May. As pressure increases on LGBT Chechens, more are sure to flee, and they need our support to find a safe place to land. Over the past month, the Russian LGBT Network has already helped evacuate 40 Chechens being persecuted for their perceived sexual orientation. […]