Chechen authorities must end the persecution of gay men and an investigation must be held as a matter of urgency, MEPs said on Thursday.
MEPs are deeply concerned at reports of arbitrary detention and torture of men perceived to be gay in Chechnya (Russian Federation) and condemn Chechen government statements denying the existence of homosexuals in their country and inciting violence against LGBTI people.
MEPs call on the authorities to end this campaign of persecution and immediately release illegally detained persons. They also urge Chechen and Russian authorities to follow international commitments and to uphold the rule of law and universal human rights standards, to ensure the safety of all persons who might be at risk, including LGBTI individuals.
“Russia and its government carry the ultimate responsibility for investigating these acts, bringing perpetrators to justice,” MEPs say. They call for “immediate, independent, objective and thorough investigation” and ask the Commission, the member states and the Council of Europe to support Russia in this investigation.
On 1 April Russian independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported that over 100 men, perceived to be gay, had been abducted and detained in the autonomous republic of Chechnya in the Russian Federation as part of a coordinated government campaign. Abducted victims had been mistreated, tortured and forced to disclose the identity of other LGBTI individuals. Reportedly, at least three men had been killed.