The Minister for Europe’s remarks come following further disturbing reports of the continued persecution of LGBT people in Chechnya, concerns which previously surfaced in 2017.
The most recent reports suggest that a further 40 individuals have been detained, alongside 2 deaths in custody following torture. These must be investigated urgently.
FCO Minister Sir Alan Duncan said:
The persecution of LGBT people in Chechnya is utterly appalling. Recent reports indicate that two people have died in custody following torture, and a further 40 remain in detention – all simply for their sexual orientation. Persecution for being LGBT, in any country in the world, is abhorrent.
The Russian authorities must protect their people from these human rights abuses, and conduct a credible investigation into these reports immediately. There should be no climate of impunity for those who commit these abuses.
We and the international community have repeatedly called for the Russian Government to conduct an investigation and hold those responsible for human rights abuses in Chechnya to account, including through the 2018 OSCE Moscow Mechanism.
All decent people very much hope that Chechnya can put an end to this sort of barbaric persecution and step into the modern world of civility and tolerance.
Following similar reports in 2017, the OSCE Moscow Mechanism, invoked by the UK and 15 other countries in 2018, set out recommendations to Russia. We urge the Russian Government to implement these recommendations as a matter of urgency, and to uphold its international human rights obligations to its people.