On 1 April 2017, the Russian newspaper Novaya
Gazeta published its first report on a campaign of persecution against
LGBTI people in the Chechen Republic, including cases of abduction,
arbitrary detention and torture of men presumed to be gay, with
the direct involvement of Chechen law-enforcement officials. This
campaign unfolded against the backdrop of serious, systematic and
widespread discrimination and harassment of LGBTI people.
The very existence of LGBTI people in the Chechen Republic
has been denied by Chechen and Russian public officials. To date,
no substantive investigation has been conducted. More than 114 LGBTI
people and members of their families have fled the Chechen Republic.
Protecting all people from torture, degrading treatment, enforced
disappearances, arbitrary detention and ultimately extra-judicial
killings, irrespective of their origin, colour, age, gender or sexual
orientation, is one of the founding principles behind the creation
of the Council of Europe. Its member States should therefore provide
international protection to LGBTI people fleeing persecution in
the Chechen Republic, as well as their families and witnesses. There
can be no impunity for the perpetrators of this campaign of persecution.
The Parliamentary Assembly should call for an effective and impartial
investigation to be conducted.