European Parliament calls for ‘urgent investigation’ into the abuse of gay men in Chechnya
The European Parliament has called for an “immediate, independent, objective and thorough investigation” into the persecution of gay men in Chechnya.
In a plenary session, MEPs demanded the immediate release of all illegally imprisoned people and an end to the torture of gay men in Chechnya.
They also called for an investigation to be undertaken by Russia, with the EU and Council of Europe to assist in this inquiry.
MEPs said: “Chechen authorities must end the persecution of gay men and an investigation must be held as a matter of urgency.
“Russia and its government carry the ultimate responsibility for investigating these acts, bringing perpetrators to justice.”
Parliamentarians also urged Russian authorities to uphold international human rights standards and ensure the safety of all individuals, including those belonging to the LGBT community.
MEPs additionally condemned the Chechen government for denying the existence of gay men in the region and inciting violence against LGBT individuals.
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Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has said that there are no gay people in Chechnya, labelling homosexuals as ‘fake Chechens’.
He also pledged to eliminate all gay men in the region before the start of Ramadan, Britain’s deputy foreign secretary revealed.
Police have also reportedly warned parents of gay men to kill their children before the state does so in torture camps.
After he was repeatedly urged by the international community, President Vladimir Putin agreed to carry out an investigation – but Russian officials later dismissed all reports as “false”.
Earlier this week gay rights groups urged the International Criminal Court to investigate the ongoing situation in Chechnya to stop the ‘genocide’.
The US has reportedly been denying visas to gay men escaping persecution in Chechnya.