On Tuesday, the United States Senate unanimously passed a resolution condemning the nearly year-long campaign of detention, torture and murder of LGBTQ people in the semi-autonomous Russian republic of Chechnya. The Senate Chechnya resolution “calls on Chechen officials to immediately cease the abduction, detention and torture of individuals on the basis of their actual or suspected sexual orientation, and hold accountable all those involved in perpetrating such abuses.”
It also asks the U.S. government to “condemn the violence and persecution in Chechnya.”
The U.S. House passed a similar resolution in June, meaning the entire U.S. Congress has publicly opposed the roundup of slaughter of queer people in Chechnya. Meanwhile no one is really sure whether U.S. President Donald Trump even knows about what’s happening there. He hasn’t publicly said anything on the subject.
British Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden have all publicly spoken out against Chechnya’s anti-LGBTQ violence. Germany, France, Lithuania, one unnamed country and Canada have all started accepting queer refugees fleeing persecution in Chechnya (and Russia’s not happy about it).
Meanwhile the current U.S. administration remains mostly silent and refuses to issue visas to Chechen refugees.
According to The Advocate, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reportedly sent a letter of concern about Chechnya to the Russian Foreign Minister (though no one has seen the letter and Tillerson never followed up with any public statement). U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley made one statement against the ongoing purge.
Despite reports of hundreds of arrests and at least 29 deaths (including teenagers and one famous pop star), Chechnya has denied its anti-LGBTQ purge by denying the existence of LGBTQ people in Chechnya and by literally burying evidence.
Russia held one cursory investigation into the purge with the forgone conclusion of Chechnya’s innocence.
Human Rights Watch has asked concerned nations to compel international governmental organizations to take action. A survivor of Chechnya’s deadly campaign is also helping build a case against Chechnya on the world stage.
Featured image by trekandshoot via iStock