The Rainbow Project, the largest support and advocacy organisation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender people and their families in Northern Ireland, has organised a demonstration against the Chechen government’s creation of concentration camps for gay men.
Reports from Human Rights Watch and the independent Novoya Gazeta have confirmed that the Chechen government has commenced a programme of hunting down gay men, interning them in concentration camps and subjecting them to torture including sexual degradation. It has been reported that three of the victims have been murdered.
To protest against this extreme violation of human rights and to highlight the failure of the UK government to intervene, The Rainbow Project has organised a demonstration to be held at Belfast City Hall on Friday 14th April at 5.30pm.
Speaking ahead of the demonstration, John O’Doherty, Director of The Rainbow Project, said: ‘There has been widespread state-sponsored intimidation, discrimination and violence against LGBT within the Russian Federation for many years but this action by the Russian republic of Chechnya represents a depraved new low which must be opposed by governments around the world.
‘We are calling on LGBT people and our allies to show that we will not stand by while tyrants round our brothers up to be tortured and murdered. We also demand that the UK government and Prime Minister Theresa May intervene to ensure that; the internees are freed, that they are offered safe passage to asylum in Europe and that the Russian authorities will investigate these abuses of human rights and hold accountable those responsible.
‘In the past, European nations have looked away while gay men and other marginalised groups were tortured in Nazi concentration camps. We will not allow this to happen again.’