A campaign for evacuating LGBT citizens from Chechnya continues in Russia. The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia was marked in Ukraine. The president of Moldova disowned the LGBT citizens. LGBTQ news, May 2017 #3
A Chechen transgender woman Leila, on condition of anonymity, spoke about the persecution of gays in the republic. According to her, the harassment of the LGBT community, the first arrests and killings began in 2007, when Ramzan Kadyrov took the post of the head of the republic. Leila had to leave for the US after she was stabbed twice in the center of Moscow. In her opinion, the attack was organized by her relatives who had been threatened by unknown people.
“Either you make away with her, who insults the entire Chechen nation, or we find her and bring you the corpse,” — Leila cites the warning.
The Russian human-rights ombudsman Tatiana Moskalkova transmitted the names of “allegedly killed” LGBT citizens in Chechnya to the Investigation Committee. The names were provided by the journalists of Novaya Gazeta. The response is expected within a month.
Earlier, on May 5, Vladimir Putin promised to the ombudsman to engage security forces into investigation of gay problems in the North Caucasus.
The European Parliament called the countries of Europe to assist Russian law enforcement agencies in investigating this case, and demanded from the authorities of Chechnya “to put an end to the campaign of persecution and to release immediately those who remain in custody.”
Meanwhile, the Russian LGBT Network reports that detentions in Chechnya have currently stopped, and some people who were arrested during the so-called “second wave” (mid of March) are released. At the same time, activists claim that the law enforcement officers began to pressure the relatives of the victims to sign the ”no complaints” statements, saying they don’t have any complaints regarding the detentions of their homosexual family members.
The Russian LGBT network continues to evacuate homosexual people from Chechnya. To date, more than 80 people requested assistance, 42 of them received help. For these purposes, activists have raised more than $200,000. International organizations became the major donors of the fundraising campaign. Almost $ 27,000 was received from private contributions.
The Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius reported that Lithuania had sheltered two gay men from Chechnya.
“I personally do not know any resident of the Chechen Republic who has applied for visa on grounds of non-traditional orientation,” — Alvi Karimov, a spokesman for Chechnya’s leader Ramzan Kadyrov, said.
Meanwhile, the head of Chechnya, Hero of Russia, Ramzan Kadyrov, was accused of “genocide” of homosexuals. Three largest French LGBT organizations filed a complaint against Kadyrov with the International Criminal Court in The Hague for the gays’ persecution. The activists believe that this is “the only way to hold accountable for Nazi attitude at the international scale.”
A charity auction in favor of gay men in Chechnya will take place in London on May 23. Over 40 British artists have donated their works (painting, ceramics, sculpture, photography, etc) to help to raise funds for protecting and evacuating people from Chechnya.
“We were all shocked by the news from Chechnya, but so far we cannot influence what is happening there,” — said Ed Firth, the organizer of the auction. — “But in our power to help people to get out of that dangerous region.”
In Russia, a website for parents of LGBT children was launched. It is designed to provide insight into the issues of sexual orientation and gender identity. The content cover the most basic questions answered by experts from different fields (psychologists, psychiatrists, sexologists, physiologists, sociologists), and contacts of specialists and organizations for additional information and support.
A map of violence against LGBT people was introduced in Russia. The map shows the cities of Russia where the crimes against LGBT people were committed for the period 2011-2016. When click a spot on the map, a window with additional information appears: the entry number in the media database, the date of publication, the crime scene, the number of victims, the type of crime. The data was sourced from federal and regional press publications.
In Ukraine, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia was marked:
- The Ambassadors of 15 countries turned to the Ukrainians with the Joint Statement, appealing to the protection of human rights and promotion of equality for all. The diplomatic community recalled that the values of tolerance and respect for diversity are fundamental to open democratic societies. The Ambassadors also stated about their intension to monitor and engage in this year’s March for Equality, planned for 18 June 2017 in Kyiv.
- In Kherson gay activists conducted the procession for the equality of all people. A column of demonstrators, guarded by about hundred policemen, went through the city center.
- In Kharkov LGBT activists planned to perform an improvised marriage ceremony, but were attacked by the people in balaclavas and masks. The homophobes used gas cartridges, stones, brilliant green, and eggs. It is reported about injuries among the policemen and activists, as well as about detainees among the attackers.
The recent Eurovision Song Contest, whose motto was “Celebrate Diversity”, inspired for creation of social video in support of equality in Ukraine. The heroes of the video — a rom, a couple with a disability, a migrant from Donetsk, a girl with HIV-positive status and a transgender girl — say how they understand the appeal to respect diversity.
Referring to the survey, almost 72% of Kyiv residents stand for freedom of peaceful assembly. Although, the idea to conduct a gay parade in the capital is supported by only 38% of the respondents, while 57% are against it. This paradox demonstrates that the level of tolerance towards sexual minorities in Ukrainian society does not perceive the gay parade as a peaceful manifestation.
The head of Moldova, Igor Dodon, refused to “be a president of gays”, and condemned the LGBT March of Solidarity scheduled for May 21st.
“I did not promise to be the president of gays, I think they missed a chance to choose a president who would represent their interests…” Dodon responded to the journalist’s comment that he had promised to be president of all citizens during the election campaign.
The embassy of Sweden stood up for the Moldavian LGBT March: the diplomats appealed to the Chisinau police to ensure the safety of the event.