The Russian Federation has provided the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) with answers to questions and comments regarding the attack on Dmitry Chizhevsky, which occurred on November 3rd, 2013. In its response, the Russian Federation requested the ECHR to not trust data on the LGBT discrimination in Russia, as it was provided by third parties (including the Russian LGBT Network), and reports that the preliminary investigation is still pending, while statistics on hate crimes against the LGBT community “will be evidence of violation of discrimination laws for a very obvious and justified reason”.


For the first time, the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities questioned the Russian Federation concerning the situation of LGBT people with disabilities. These queries were prompted by a report on intersectional discrimination and violations of human rights of LGBT people with disabilities prepared and submitted to the Committee by the Russian LGBT Network and the initiative group Queer-Peace.  


The Russian LGBT Network confirms that Pavel Stotsko and Evgeny Voytsekhovsky had to leave the Russian Federation because of the pressure and unlawful actions of the Russian law enforcement agencies. Pavel and Evgeniy did not expect such an outcome, and it was real threat to their freedom and security that forced them to leave. 


On March 15, the Russian LGBT Network received unconfirmed evidences suggesting a massive campaign against the LGBT community in Chechnya.  On March 29, we opened the hotline [email protected], which operates around the clock. Due to the enormous support of the organizations and individuals all around the world, we were able to save 106 people from Chechnya and to help 88 of them to leave the country. In 2018, detentions and torture of homosexual people in Chechnya continue.  People in trouble still contacting us, and we are doing our best to help them. Now, we ran out of the funds needed to keep on evacuating. 


Yesterday in mainstream media reports surfaced that Russia, for the first time, recognised the same-sex marriage between two men - Evgeniy Voitsekhovsky and Pavel Stotsko, who officially married in Copenhagen, where same-sex unions have been legalised. They submitted their registration documents, together with certified translations, to the MFC in Moscow. Their passports were stamped on the marital status page, confirming registration of the marriage. Lawyer Dmitry Bartnenev comments. 


On Tuesday, January 16, 2017, the Head of the Chechen Republic, Mr. Ramzan Kadyrov, during the course of his council with the representatives of the Ministry of Domestic Affairs and the representatives of the Administration of the Federal Service of the Troops of the National Guard, made an official statement. He raised questions about the disappearance of Zelimkhan Bakaev, about the work of Human Rights Defenders in the republic, and about the arrest of Oiub Tetiev. During his speech, Kadyrov claimed that it is likely that Bakaev's relatives forced him to return home and "figured it out" themselves. He also said that Bakaev's relatives are now trying to shift responsibility to Kadyrov himself. The Head of the Chechen Republic claimed that he has nothing to do with Zelimkhan's disappearance. 


Across Europe and Central Asia, lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people are regularly denied the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, association and democratic participation. Hate speech is prevalent, in the media and propagated by politicians. Meanwhile censorship and impunity for frequent acts of violence against LGBT people enable an environment in which LGBT people are marginalized and silenced, preventing them from speaking up against hatred.


Few days ago, the team of the Russian LGBT Network was named as 2017’s Hero of the Year by All Out, one of biggest organizations promoting and supporting human rights of LGBT people all over the world. The team of the Network was chosen as a result of the open competition, thousands of All Out members voted. The Russian LGBT Network was named the Hero of the Year for the evacuating those at risk of violence and persecution in Chechnya because of the mass campaign organized by the local authorities.


The European Court of Human Rights has communicated several complaints of LGBT activists who suffered from the homophobic attacks in May and June 2012 and in October and January 2013, all of the attacks as one case. The court raised questions whether the local authorities respected their obligation to prevent the ill-treatment of the applicants and whether the applicants were discriminated because of their sexual orientation. The court also asked questions whether the authorities provided for the applicants the freedom for a peaceful assembly and whether they did everything necessary to prevent the violence of homophobic adversaries of the activists.


On December 5, the Prosecutor's Office of Tomsk sent a request to attend the Prosecutor’s Office to the head of the Russian LGBT Network’s regional. This so-called "invitation" was issued because of the movie screening of "Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine" hosted by the Network's Regional Division in Tomsk.