For Education, Empowerment & Equality

EPF expresses deep concern over persecution of gay people in Chechnya

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BRUSSELS, 21 April – The EPF Executive Committee has written to the Speaker of the State Duma and Chairperson of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation to raise deep concern over the treatment of homosexual men in the Chechen Republic. Reports of an anti-gay purge have recently appeared in several reputable media outlets both within and outside Russia.

The letter has been sent in both Russian and English. It reads as follows:

We, the undersigned Members of Parliament from across Europe and Members of the Executive Committee of the European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development, are deeply concerned reading in several Russian and international media that homosexual men in Chechnya are persecuted, imprisoned, tortured, and even killed, as a result of an anti-gay persecution campaign that local authorities have started in the region.

If those media reports capture accurately the reality in the Chechen Republic, and persecution is launched against the general male homosexual population in the region, we are probably witnessing the first campaign of that nature and scale, since the persecution of homosexuals by the Nazis during the Second World War. This would violate directly Article 3 (“Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and security of person”), Article 5 (“No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”), and Article 9 (“No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile”) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

During the Second World War, Russia had a decisive contribution to end what was later recognised as human rights violations and crimes against humanity. Furthermore, as a founding member of the United Nations and a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, Russia was instrumental in the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and, ever since, is a depositary of it internationally. Hence, we trust that the Federal Russian authorities will do what is necessary in order to protect the fundamental human rights of all Russian citizens, irrespective of their sexual orientation. As European Parliamentarians, we stand by you, encourage and support you in taking up all the necessary initiatives that will restore the rule of law in all Russian territories.

We trust that our colleagues in State Duma, as well as the Federal authorities, agree with us that persecution, arbitrary detention, torture and killing of persons because of their sexual orientation, are violations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the international law, and do not correspond to the central role that Russia has as a guardian of both the Declaration and international law.

Sincerely Yours,

The Executive Committee of EPF

1.   President: Hon. Ulrika Karlsson, MP, Sweden

2.   First Vice-President: Senator Petra De Sutter, Belgium

3.   Second Vice-President: Hon. Nermina Kapetanovic, MP, Bosnia- Herzegovina

4.   Member: Hon. Katharina Kucharowits, MP, Austria

5.   Member: Hon. Malahat Ibrahimqizi, MP, Azerbaijan

6.   Member: Hon. Ulla Sandbaek, MP, Denmark

7.   Member: Hon. Hanna Sarkkinen, MP, Finland

8.   Member: Hon. Edith Guegneau, MP, France

9.   Member: Hon. George Tsereteli, MP, Georgia

10. Member: Hon. Yvonne Feri, MP, Switzerland

European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development (EPF) is a network of members of parliaments from across Europe who are committed to protecting the sexual and reproductive health of the world’s most vulnerable people, both at home and overseas. More information at www.epfweb.org

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European Parliamentary Forum on Population & Development

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Phone: +32 (0)2 500 86 50
secretariat@epfweb.org

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