In many countries around the world it remains unsafe to be gay. In Australia, LGBTQ+ people experience relative freedom from persecution and violence on the basis of their sexuality or gender, but in other places they remain daily threats.
One of those places is Chechnya.
In Chechnya – a republic of Russia – there have been ongoing reports of citizens being arrested en masse or tortured due to their perceived or actual sexual orientation or gender identity.
Survivors have claimed that Chechen authorities are urging parents to kill their gay children. Gay and bisexual men are being tricked into meetings using social media, only to be violently attacked or detained. There are shocking reports of queer women being detained and subjected to acts of sexual violence.
In response to international condemnation, the Head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov has previously said “you cannot detain and persecute people who simply do not exist”.
What is clear from these horrific reports is that LGBTQ+ people in Chechnya are in grave danger and at risk of arrest or torture, if not worse.
So far the Australian Government has done very little to intervene.
Our government has certainly expressed concerns in the past, but without targeted sanctions these human rights abuses will be allowed to go on uncurbed. Countries like the U.S. have previously imposed sanctions and it’s now time for Australia to follow suit:
- In 2017, the United States imposed sanctions on Ayub Kataev, Head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Chechnya, who was believed to have been involved in the abuses against LGBTQ+ Chechens
- In 2019, the United States imposed sanctions on Abuzayed Vismuradov, the commander of the Terek Special Rapid Responses Team, a group that illegally detained and tortured individuals on the basis of their actual or perceived sexual orientation, sometimes after individuals were lured into meetings using social media
That’s why the Victorian Pride Lobby is calling on the Minister for Foreign Affairs Marisa Payne to impose sanctions on these two human rights abusers: Ayub Kataev and Abuzayed Vismuradov.
This will help to keep pressure on them and will let Chechnya know the world is watching.
We urge you to sign our petition calling on the Minister to impose sanctions on two of the people responsible for these horrific human rights abuses against LGBTQ+ people in Chechnya.
Please, sign and share this petition if you believe all LGBTQ+ people deserve to live in safety and free from the fear of persecution or violence.
Sign the petition and keep up with our campaign here.