The Russian LGBT Network Is Trying To Rescue Gay Men From Chechnya

After weeks of reports that gay men in Chechnya are being rounded up, kidnapped, beaten, and killed, the Russian LGBT Network has finally been able to evacuate some from the area. Find out more here.

Scarlet Olsen
Created By Scarlet Olsen
On May 11, 2017
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For several weeks now, the government in Chechnya, Russia has been allowing its gay citizens to be kidnapped, beaten, starved, and even killed, claiming that there are no gay men in Chechnya to start with. And while initially, the Russian government completely ignored these claims, international pressure is starting to finally, slowly urge them into an investigation. But that has done little to help the Russian LGBT Network, an organization working to get gay men out of Chechnya. In an NPR interview, with their unnamed communications manager, she said:

The Russian government obviously doesn't provide any support to any LGBT organizations. We try to report to them, but they usually ignore us. And what we want from them right now is to have appropriate investigation of this situation.
The Russian government obviously doesn't provide any support to any LGBT organizations. We try to report to them, but they usually ignore us. And what we want from them right now is to have appropriate investigation of this situation.
Russian LGBT Network, NPR, May 9, 2017

The Russian LGBT Network has so far been able to rescue about 40 people from Chechnya, although even they were met with initial suspicion.

The first people who contacted us, they were terribly scared. And they wanted to ensure, like, if we can be trusted, if we are going to kill them or help them. But basically then we started the evacuation process, and by now we evacuated around 40.
The first people who contacted us, they were terribly scared. And they wanted to ensure, like, if we can be trusted, if we are going to kill them or help them. But basically then we started the evacuation process, and by now we evacuated around 40.
Russian LGBT Network, NPR, May 9, 2017

Although the current priority of Russian LGBT Network is simply to get people out of Chechnya, their ultimate goal is still to get them out of Russia, where they can still be literally hunted by relatives.

Some of them are already hunted by their relatives outside of Chechnya. Homosexuality in Chechnya is considered to be a stain on the whole family and the only way to kind of wash away this stain is to kill this person.
Some of them are already hunted by their relatives outside of Chechnya. Homosexuality in Chechnya is considered to be a stain on the whole family and the only way to kind of wash away this stain is to kill this person.
Russian LGBT Network, NPR, May 9, 2017

If you'd like to help the Russian LGBT Network rescue the gay men of Chechnya, you can learn more and donate at their website here. What do you think about this? Talk to us about it in the comments below, and share with your friends to see what they think.