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PACE urges the Russian Federation to investigate persecution of LGBTI people in Chechnya

PACE has urged the Russian Federation to conduct “an impartial and effective investigation” into the persecution of LGBTI people in the Chechen Republic, following the information published in 2017 by the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, reporting “cases of abduction, arbitrary detention and torture of men presumed to be gay” on the orders of top-level Chechen authorities.

In a resolution unanimously adopted today, on the basis of the report by Piet De Bruyn (Belgium, NR), PACE called on the Russian Federation to allow an international independent investigation, should an investigation at national level not be pursued, and recommended that the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe consider launching one.

This campaign of persecution in 2017, characterized by “systematic and widespread discrimination and violence against LGBTI persons”, has stopped, but its effects continue, underlines the adopted text, which states that to date, more than 114 LGBTI people and members of their families have fled the Chechen Republic to other regions of the Russian Federation, other Council of Europe member States and beyond.

The Assembly called on all member States to welcome these LGBTI victims, as well as their family members and witnesses to these persecutions, and to grant them international protection. Member States should also support NGOs and human rights defenders helping these victims, and strongly condemn violence and discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.