Gay and bisexual men – or men perceived as gay – face arrest, detention and even torture in the Russian republic of Chechnya. According to reports by the Russian LGBT Network, gay men are sent to detention centres, where they are systematically beaten.
LGBT activists are working to evacuate men to safety from the government’s gay crackdown.
Finland’s human rights advocacy group for sexual and gender minorities Seta has launched a fundraising campaign to help evacuate Chechens persecuted because of their sexual orientation. The money will be forwarded to the LGBT Network. All raised funds will go to help pay for the cost of travel, food and accommodation for Chechen men at risk.
Seta’s Secretary General Kerttu Tarjamo says that the situation in Chechnya has now become so abhorrent that immediate action was needed.
”We asked if we could help in some way, for example by raising money, and they said yes,” Tarjamo says.
Other LGBT advocay groups have also sprung into action. Seta’s Swedish counterpart Regnbågsfonden took action immediately, and managed to raise 50,000 euros in just under a week.
”I am confident we will be able to contribute at least a few thousand euros,” Tarjamo says.