On LGBT+ Rights in Chechnya

In today’s article, Rachel Megan Barker, London Young Labour’s LGBT+ officer, discusses the horrendous situation for LGBT people in Chechnya.

Yesterday, London Young Labour and LGBT Labour members stood alongside other activists from across London outside the Russian embassy, protesting against what is happening in Chechnya.

Right now, authorities in the Northern Caucuses had been detaining dozens of men in what are effectively concentration camps “in connection with their nontraditional sexual orientation, or suspicion of such.”

The details of what is happening in these camps are horrific; with people being taken outside and beaten several times a day, having their hands electrocuted and being forced to sit on bottles.

In these kind of situations it’s easy to feel paralyzed. But the fact that attention is being drawn to this issue, and that that has led to international condemnation is a step forward. While not enough, I was pleased that Boris Johnson spoke out against what’s happening.

Meanwhile, on the ground, the Russian LGBT network is currently ready to evacuate people and anyone in Russia can call their hotline for free on 8 800 555 73 74.

There are no obvious solutions for how we can stop what is happening right now. But we need to keep paying attention, listening to LGBT people in Russia and support however we can. This is one of the most horrific attacks on LGBT rights in the Western world in recent history and we cannot just let it happen.

You can read the Russian LGBT networks full statement here: https://lgbtnet.org/en/content/statement-russian-lgbt-networks-board-regarding-information-kidnappings-and-murders-lgbt

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