As of January it’s been more than two years since the humanitarian crisis in Chechnya — in which gays and lesbians are being kidnapped, tortured and murdered — began. And while the international response to this crisis in the Russian republic has seemed minimal at best, concerned members of the LGBTQ community worldwide are continuing to raise awareness and demand an end to the queer persecution. Yesterday, a protest made its way to the Russian embassy in London, which was wrapped in a giant rainbow flag.
It’s been reported that 100 people gathered outside London’s Russian embassy on Sunday, Jan. 27, a day which also happened to be International Holocaust Remembrance Day, marking 74 years since the liberation of Auschwitz.
Those Brits protesting demanded their Prime Minister Theresa May condemn the gay purge taking place in Chechnya; that the United Kingdom offer asylum to any seeking to flee Chechnya; that the United Nations launch its own investigation into the purge and Russia’s involvement; and that Russia bring to justice those responsible for the horrific crimes taking place in the republic.
The most inspiring image to come out of Sunday’s protest at the Russian embassy was a giant rainbow flag that was wrapped around the building.
Interestingly, the rainbow flag used to wrap the Russian embassy was the original Gilbert Baker flag created in 1978 that featured two stripes no longer on the flag, one hot pink and one turquoise.
At Russian consulate in London now. Standing in solidarity with Chechnya LGBTs. No tyranny lasts forever. Kadyrov & Putin will have their fall. Russia will be free. @rulgbtnet @ComingOutSpb @mashagessen @astroehlein @Billbrowder pic.twitter.com/Hbo1zRQUxC
— Peter Tatchell (@PeterTatchell) January 27, 2019
In addition to the rainbow wrapping the building, protesters carried signs calling Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov a murderer, offering solidarity with LGBTQ people in Chechnya and calling out Vladimir Putin for failing to act against the torture of Chechen queer people.
Gay Times has quoted Michael Salter-Church, the co-chair of London Pride, as saying, “The British government must raise this at the highest level with Russia and call for both an end to this persecution and the prosecution of the perpetrators. Let us also show the world our support of human rights by raising this at the UN.”
What do you think of the Russian embassy wrapped in a rainbow flag in protest of Chechnya’s ongoing gay purge?
Featured image courtesy of Thomas Wales Instagram account