Igor Kochetkov addressed persecution of LGBT+ in Chechnya at OSCE

On September 23, the Director of the Russian LGBT Network Igor Kochetkov made an oral statement the 11th Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM) of OSCE participating States in Warsaw. The statement was devoted to the persecution of LGBT+ in Chechnya.

In December 2018 the OSCE accepted the report, prepared within the Mandate on the Moscow Mechanism. This report discussed at length persecution, unlawful arrests, arbitrary detentions, tortures, enforced disappearances, and extrajudicial executions happening on the territory of the Chechen Republic, a federal subject of the Russian Federation. The rapporteur, in particular, confirmed the facts of arbitrary detention, tortures, and inhumane treatment of individuals based on their sexual orientation.

Those responsible for named atrocious violations of human rights have not been brought to justice; there is yet to be an investigation of these violations. The Russian Federation continues to deny the crimes first identified by the human rights defenders and then confirmed by international organizations. Moreover, law enforcement agencies the Chechen Republic continue to persecute, detain, and torture civilians based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.

Considering the following, [on behalf of the Russian LGBT Network], I recommend
To the Russian Federation:

  • to adhere to its responsibilities on the prevention of torture and other forms of inhumane treatment in collaboration with national NGOs and international organizations;
  • to invite an OSCE social monitoring mission for monitoring and investigating torture, assisting victims, and prevention of arbitrary, unlawful detention, torture and inhuman treatment on the territory of the Chechen Republic;

To the OSCE Chairperson:

  • to send their representatives to the Russian Federation with a mission to establish facts of gross human rights violations in the Chechen Republic for the subsequent development of OSCE response measures;

To the OSCE Permanent Council:

  • to continuously review the situation with human rights in the Russian Federation, taking into account the recommendations of the report presented in the framework of the Moscow Mechanism;

To the OSCE participating States:

  • to continue systemic monitoring and documentation of human rights violations in the Chechen Republic and other regions of the Russian Federation;
  • to cooperate on the previous matter with non-governmental human rights organizations and to support their work;
  • to provide international protection for the refugees from the Chechen Republic, LGBTI people, in particular, taking into account their special security needs;
  • be careful when considering issues related to the extradition of immigrants from the Chechen Republic, given that there is a lack of in-country flight options for them.