Irish officials meet Russian Ambassador to express horror over Chechnya

Jerry Buttimer, David Norris and Fintan Warfield met with the Russian Ambassador to discuss the treatment of gay men in Chechnya.

Irish politicians Senators David Norris, Fintan Warfield and Jerry Buttimer TD standing with the Russian Ambassador after discussing Chechnya and the country's gay purge

Senators David Norris Fintan Warfield and Jerry Buttimer met today with the Russian Ambassador to discuss Chechnya’s reported gay purge. The Irish Senators confronted the Russian Ambassador over reports that Chechnya is violating basic human rights by detaining, torturing and murdering gay men.

“I joined Senator David Norris and Senator Jerry Buttimer for a meeting with the Russian Ambassador to express our horror, and deep concern for the safety of gay men in Chechnya,” Warfield wrote in a post on social media.

While the UK’s Minister for Foreign Affairs has publicly denounced the Chechen purge, an official stance has yet to be taken by Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charles Flanagan.

For those who feel strongly on the issue, it is possible to send Minister Flanagan a letter to let him know that this is an important issue worthy of his time.

Eye-witness reports from gay men who escaped Chechnya revealed the depravity of Chechen authorities who have breached detainees’ privacy, used electric shock torture and brutally murdered members of the LGBT community.

Chechen authorities are even forcing families to ‘honour kill’ their children according to anonymous testimony from Chechen refugees.

Russia has remained silent on what is being reported in Chechnya, indicating previously that they do not have reason to believe the reports.

Last Tuesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel pushed Vladimir Putin to take action on the issue.

Days after Merkel’s call to action, Vladimir Putin indicated that he would discuss the possibility of a Russian investigation to discern the truth regarding the “rumours” of a gay purge in Chechnya,

“Of course, I will have a talk with the general prosecutor and interior minister so they support you on the topic that you have raised on information or rumours, we might say, about what is happening to sexual minorities in the North Caucasus,” said Putin.

This statement comes after Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov contradicted himself by publicly denying any allegations of a purge to the English speaking media while announcing that he would eliminate gay men by the start of Ramadan on May 26 to Russian media.

Mother held a fundraiser to help fund the evacuation of gay men from Chechnya last month, with proceeds going to the Russian LGBT Network.

© 2017 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

Support GCN

GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.

During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.

GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.

2 comments. Please sign in to comment.