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Chechnya: Stop Abducting and Killing Gay Men

Amnesty on Campus, Victoria University

Media Advisory

18 May 2017

Chechnya: Stop Abducting and Killing Gay Men – Sit in at Russian Embassy

In response to the abduction, torture and killing of gay men in Chechnya, the Amnesty on Campus group at Victoria University is hosting a sit-in on Saturday 20 May.

The group will be outside the Russian Embassy in Wellington with placards and banners calling for the Russian authorities to investigate the abductions in Chechnya and bring those responsible to justice, as well as seeking immediate action to ensure the safety of gay men in Chechnya.

They will be joined by guest speakers Grant Robertson MP and Tim Greensmith-West of the Rainbow Labour Group.

Any other groups or organisations that wish to defend LGBTI rights are welcome to join the sit-in.

WHAT Sit-in outside the Russian Embassy, in solidarity with gay men in Chechnya

WHERE Russian Embassy, 57 Messines Rd, Karori, Wellington 6012

WHEN Saturday 20 May, 11am – 4pm

BACKGROUND On 1 April, Russian independent daily newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, reported that over a hundred men believed to be gay had been abducted as part of a coordinated campaign. The men were reportedly tortured and forced to disclose other LGBTI individuals known to them.

Novaya Gazeta claimed to have verified information about at least three men who had been killed by their captors, but its sources reported that there have been many more killings.

On 3 April, the press secretary of the Russian Presidential Administration, Dimitry Peskov, announced that the Ministry of Interior were “checking information about the alleged persecution of men of non-traditional orientation”. On 11 May, five LGBTI activists were detained as they tried to deliver a petition to the Office of Russia's Prosecutor General on Chechnya.

Amnesty International has current actions to urge the Russian and Chechen authorities to investigate the abductions, as well as to protect the journalists who exposed the abuse.

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