Yesterday saw up to 100 activists picketed the Russian embassy in London in a protest against the anti-LGBT+ violence in Chechnya.
The protest, which saw attendees wrap a large pride flag around the building’s fence, coincided with Holocaust Memorial Day. Activists had four demands with regards to the escalating violence in the Russian region. They called for British Prime Minister Theresa May to condemn the anti-LGBT+ crackdown; for governments to offer shelter to Chechen refugees; for the United Nations to launch an investigation on Russia; and for the authorities to bring those responsible to justice.
At Russian consulate in London now. Standing in solidarity with Chechnya LGBTs. No tyranny lasts forever. Kadyrov & Putin will have their fall. Russia will be free. @rulgbtnet @ComingOutSpb @mashagessen @astroehlein @Billbrowder pic.twitter.com/Hbo1zRQUxC
— Peter Tatchell (@PeterTatchell) January 27, 2019
Since December, violence and persecution against those perceived as being members of the LGBT+ community in Chechnya has escalated. The Russian LGBT+ Network has reported that up to 40 people have been illegally detained, while a further two have died as a result of torture.
Additionally, reports point to evidence of the sexual assault of Chechen women at the hands of guards. Witnesses have claimed that women are being raped with electric shock sticks while men have had their heads shaved and are being forced to wear women’s clothing.
We wrapped the @RussianEmbassy with the historic #GilbertBaker #RainbowFlag that dates from 1994, the 25th anniversary of the #Stonewall uprising. 🏳️🌈 Donate today to help pay for an #LGBT+ person in #Chechnya to be evacuated to safety: https://t.co/5uti2XF1VQ pic.twitter.com/8Xy0BZlDus
— Thomas Wales (@thomaswales) January 27, 2019
London Pride’s Co-Chair, Michael Salter-Church spoke with urgency at the Embassy about the need to take action with regards to the situation in Chechnya:
“50 years on from brave activists taking a stand at Stonewall, the appalling events in Chechnya highlight with vivid brutality that the fight isn’t over.”
“Whilst the UK is focused on Brexit we mustn’t forget those who need our support. We must take a stand for our community in countries where they can’t as it could – and does – cost them lives.
“The British Government must raise this at the highest level with Russia and call for both an end to this persecution and the prosecution of the perpetrators. Let us also show the world our support of human rights by raising this at the UN.”
© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
For 30 years GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBT+ community. We want to go on providing this community hub in print and online, helping countless individuals across the country, but the revenue from advertising across the media is falling.
GCN needs your support. If you value having an independent LGBT+ media in Ireland, you can help from only €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBT+ media.