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Startseite Urgent Actions 2019 01 Homophobic crackdown in Chechnya resumes
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01.04.2019: Press release

We are sharing the press release issued today to mark the second anniversary of the publication of the Novaya Gazeta article exposing the homophobic crackdown in Chechnya in 2017. See here

The failure of the Russian authorities to seek justice and protect victims led to a new wave of attacks in December 2018.


26.02.2019: Extended appeals deadline

The appeals deadline has been extended to 9 April 2019.

We have now extended the appeals deadline for this UA issued on 15 January following the wave of homophobic attacks in Chechnya. The UA and calls remain relevant and we encourage you to continue supporting this case. Thank you.

15.01.2019: Press release

A press release has also been issued.

Homophobic crackdown in Chechnya resumes

AI-Index: 46/9686/2019

The Chechen authorities have unleashed a new wave of attacks on people believed to be gay or lesbian. At least 40 individuals have been arbitrarily detained and tortured in Chechnya, a republic in the south of Russia. At least two people are reported to have been tortured to death.

Additional information

On 1 April 2017, the Russian independent daily newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, reported that over a hundred men believed to be gay had been abducted in Chechnya as part of a coordinated campaign by the local authorities. The men were reportedly tortured and otherwise ill-treated and forced to disclose other LGBTI individuals known to them. Novaya Gazeta claimed to have verified information about at least three men who had been killed by their captors, but its sources claimed that there had been many more killings. Officials in Chechnya and Moscow continuously denied these allegations and the preliminary criminal investigation into allegations of Maxim Lapunov, the only victim who came forward, was closed.
On 30 August 2018, 15 members of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) enacted the Vienna Mechanism, seeking truth about and justice for those grave human rights violations in Chechnya and demanding effective investigations into, among others, violations committed against actual or perceived LGBTI persons which occurred in 2017. After not having received a sufficient reply from the Russian Federation, on 1 November 2018, 16 participating States of the OSCE enacted the Moscow Mechanism and tasked Professor Wolfgang Benedek to write a report on the alleged human rights violations and impunity in the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation. The report, issued on 20 December 2018, confirmed the allegations of serious human rights violations in Chechnya- in particular allegations of harassment and persecution, arbitrary arrests or detention, torture, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial executions of people, which include but are not limited to, LGBTI persons, human rights defenders, lawyers, independent media and civil society organisations. The report also noted that there is a climate of impunity in Chechnya, which is detrimental to any accountability for human rights violations. The report made a number of recommendations to the Russian Federation including: opening an inquiry into the allegations; establishing a special investigative committee to conduct effective; impartial and transparent investigation of the allegations; and opening of a criminal investigation into violations against Maxim Lapunov. Eight days after the report was issued, the authorities resumed their persecution of actual or perceived LGBTI people in Chechnya.

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