Important news on abductions of gay men Chechnya + new ways you can help
Apr 19, 2017 — Dear all,
huge thanks to everyone who supported our petition! Your support and care are so important for everyone who comes out of this hell in Chechnya right now. We have gathered almost 200,000 signatures!
Now, briefly, few main updates on the situation in Chechnya:
- Yesterday Elena Milashina, a journalist of Novaya Gazeta, who worked on the story initially, confirmed that the Investigatory Committee of Russia started investigation into the claims of mass torture and abductions of gay men in Chechnya! This is very important and great news!! We are following this investigation closely, and we will keep you updated.
- Last week over 15,000 Chechens gathered in a central mosque to call for revenge on Novaya Gazeta - a leading independent newspaper in Russia, which broke the story initially. Novaya Gazeta issued a statement, in which they confirmed the threats and called for investigation. Elena Milashina went into hiding after receiving death threats. This week the Investigatory Committee of Russia started the investigation into the threats made against the newspaper.
- Russian LGBT network continues to pull LGBT people in Chechnya out of the region. To date around 60 people have contacted the Russian LGBT Network. Some of these people are still in the area and are in need of urgent evacuation, while others have managed to relocate themselves but nevertheless need further assistance. More than 30 people have already been provided with support. Among those who have applied to us for help, there are two victims of the persecutions, with whom the Network suddenly lost contact for unknown reasons.
HOW CAN YOU HELP:
Pulling people out of Chechnya is the most important thing right now. Russian LGBT Network is doing their best, but they need more resources.
1. Please Support Russian LGBT Network:
Few organizations all over the world are collecting money in order to support their work in evacuating people from the region, and they are greatly appreciative. This money will go towards transportation, accommodation, basic goods, medical and psychological support as well as the preparation of necessary documents. It is dangerous for most of the survivors to stay in Russia; therefore, LGBT Network is preparing for their evacuation from the country.
This is how you can donate your money to Russian LGBT Network: https://www.lgbtnet.org/en/endonate
2. Reach out to your Foreign Affairs Ministry
Please reach out to your Foreign Ministries and ask for their help in granting Chechen LGBT people visas and necessary permits. It is very important, as these people are currently trying to escape, but face difficulties getting visas.
For that, please find contact email of your Foreign Affairs Ministry in your country, and simply send a quick an easy email urging them to give an opportunity to Chechen gay to get into safety. You can write a simple email - something along these lines:
Dear Madam/ Sir,
I and over 190,000 people, who signed a petition demanding to stop mass abductions and torture of gay men in Chechnya (www.change.org/Chechnya100), are asking you to make everything possible for these victims to get into safety in our country. Human rights groups are helping them to escape Chechnya, and many of them flee outside of Russia. We think some of them might be applying for visas in our consulates. We are calling on you to please pay attention to them and ensure these people get the necessary permits and visas. This will literally save their lives.
And of course -- do not forget to spread the word about our petition!
Thank you very much