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Attacks against LGBT people in Chechnya: claims must be investigated and victims protected

“Alarming reports have been received from Chechnya in recent days concerning systematic abductions, torture and murders of individuals based on their sexual orientation,” said Jonas Gunnarsson (Sweden, SOC), General rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on the rights of LGBT persons, and Frank Schwabe (Germany, SOC), who will be presenting the report on “Human rights in the North Caucasus: what follow-up to Resolution 1738 (2010)?”, at the PACE April Session. “More than one hundred people are alleged to have been detained and at least three, and possibly many more, to have been killed in extrajudicial killings”.

“These allegations are extremely worrying,” they said. “We call on the authorities immediately to launch an investigation that is effective and fully in line with all the requirements of the European Convention on Human Rights. In this respect, reports that the Chechen authorities’ response so far has been to deny or trivialise the allegations, or even to imply that they condone such acts, are also of particularly grave concern”.

“No one should ever be made to feel afraid to express their sexual orientation. The authorities have a duty to protect all individuals against hate crimes. They must furthermore ensure that individuals targeted by or who complain of such offences are protected from retaliation, including so-called ‘honour killings’,” they concluded.