According to credible reports by the media and international human rights organisations, at least 40 LGBTI people in the Russian Republic of Chechnya have been detained by Chechen law enforcement officials, imprisoned and tortured since December 2018. Reports also indicate that at least two of the detained people have died as a result of torture by their captors. These grave violations of human rights add to the long list of State-sponsored human rights abuses in Chechnya.
The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe recently published a report which highlights clear evidence of successive purges against LGBTI people in Chechnya, as well as other human rights violations. It is important that the Russian authorities take into account the recommendations in the report and take steps to implement them.
The Russian authorities have a duty to protect all their citizens in full respect of human rights principles and must urgently ensure the safety of all persons who are at risk in Chechnya owing to their sexual orientation. The European Union expects the Russian authorities to carry out swift, full and transparent investigations into the reported persecution, torture and killings of LGBTI people in Chechnya and ensure that anyone found guilty of or complicit in such crimes is brought to justice.