Strong response needed to LGBTI persecution in Chechnya
Persecution of gay men in Chechnya must be met with a strong response from the European Union, ECR MEPs insist.
The ECR Group is urging the European Parliament to forward a resolution to Russian President Vladimir Putin condemning the “detention, torture and murder of men in Chechnya on the basis of their sexuality, or perceived sexuality, as hate crimes” and demanding that all those being held are released immediately without charge.
The issue will be debated by MEPs tomorrow and a vote on a final resolution takes place on Thursday.
British Conservative MEP Ian Duncan, Vice President of the Parliament’s LGBT Intergroup, said: “The situation in Chechnya is a human rights crisis and must be met by a robust international response.
“I hope the Parliament comes together to condemn this persecution and send the strong message that there can be no justification for the detention, torture and murder of innocent people or systematic discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.
“Crimes have been committed and those responsible must be identified and brought to justice.”
ECR Foreign Affairs coordinator Charles Tannock MEP warned Russia must act if it wanted improved relations with the EU.
He said: “To come out of the diplomatic cold Russia has to take urgent action to protect its own citizens in respect of human rights and international conventions. Mr Putin should understand that events such as those currently playing out in Chechnya shame him in the eyes of the world.”
Reports suggest that more than 100 gay men have been detained in Chechnya and at least three people are reported killed in the crackdown. The Chechen Government denies the reports and insists that homosexual people “simply don’t exist in the republic.”