This Holocaust Memorial Day – 27th January – hundreds of people from London’s LGBT+ community and their allies will protest outside the Russian Embassy in London against the new wave of brutal attacks against LGBT+ people that are taking place in Chechnya, Russia. Their message will be ‘NEVER AGAIN EVER!’
This Holocaust Memorial Day – 80 years since the start of World War II – the protest remembers the thousands of LGBTQI+ who perished during the Nazi Holocaust and the millions of Queers across the world who have been killed or brutalised since. The protests immediate focus is to act for those who have been killed, detained and tortured in a new crackdown on LGBT+ people in Chechnya.
The reports earlier this month echo those that started in 2017 and haven’t stopped since. Hundreds of people were rounded up because of their sexuality or perceived sexuality by authorities in Chechnya and subjected to beatings and electric shocks in secret prisons, provoking international condemnation and sanctions. Worryingly, verified reports from the Russian LGBT Network suggest three people have been killed in recent weeks.
The protests Demands
- We call on Theresa May to publicly condemn these atrocities;
- We ask all Governments to give shelter to those fleeing from Chechnya;
- We call for a United Nations Independent Investigation on Russia with a specific mandate on the human rights violations in the Chechen Republic
- We urge Russian authorities to bring those responsible for these atrocities to justice and, failing that, for the international community to intervene and arraign the perpetrators before the ICJ
Testimonials in support –
‘We are truly grateful to everyone who supports us! Moreover, we believe that it was an international pressure that stopped the first wave of persecution, so yes, it will be very useful!’ Russian LGBT Network
“The heart-breaking reports of renewed state torture and murder of LGBT+ people are a damning indictment of the tyrannical Chechen regime and of the Russian President Vladimir Putin. He has refused to use his powers to stop the homophobic terror campaign and to bring perpetrators to justice. We deplore all human rights abuses in Chechnya – including detention without trial, torture and arbitrary killings. At this protest, we stand in solidarity with Chechen LGBTs and all persecuted Chechen people.” Peter Tatchell, Director of the human rights organisation, the Peter Tatchell Foundation
‘All four of my grandparents were Nazi Holocaust survivors. The influence their stories had on me was one of my main reasons I co-founded ‘Queer Tours of London – A Mince Through Time’. I know all too well how the LGBTQI+ community has suffered but also resisted fascism throughout history. Wild horses wouldn’t stop me from getting involved in this Sunday’s protest to make sure homophobic genocidal maniacs get their comeuppance! I’m so looking forward to be with our glorious LGBTQI+ community in London, send love and solidarity to our Chechen queer family and in my own way – get justice for others that my grandparents never had. Never Again Ever!’ dan glass ‘Queer Tours of London – A Mince Through Time’
‘I thoroughly condemned the actions of the Chechen government and the brutal treatment of it’s Lgbt+ citizens, which is tantamount to state sponsored genocide. We, the Muslim Lgbt+ community in the UK stand in solidarity with our Lgbt+ friends and allies in Chechnya.’ Ejel Khan, LGBTQIA+/Human Rights Activist & Freelancer
‘We must all come together, all manner of humanity – queer, trans, bi,non-identifying, hetero, whatever sort of human being you see yourself as … and explicitly, loudly and clearly, resoundingly reverberate our shared message in front of the Russian Embassy, that the horrific and cruel, deeply prejudiced mistreatment of our Chechynean sisters and brothers is wholly unacceptable. We will all come together with controlled rage, non-violence, and deep Love, explicitly showing that all human brothers and sisters are one, and we will not have it any other way.’ Steve Burak
Michael Salter-Church MBE, Co-Chair of Pride in London, said: “50 years on from brave activists taking a stand at Stonewall, the appalling events in Chechnya highlight with vivid brutality that the fight isn’t over. “Whilst the UK is focused on Brexit we mustn’t forget those who need our support. We must take a stand for our community in countries where they can’t as it could – and does – cost them their lives. The British Government must raise this at the highest level with Russia and call for both an end to this persecution and the prosecution of the perpetrators. Let us also show the world our support of human rights by raising this at the UN. “We urge members of the LGBT+ community in London to join protests and give money to activists in Chechnya, Russia and other countries where people face death and imprisonment for being who they are.”
‘The news of a new wave of anti-gay persecution in Chechnya is deeply disturbing. Silence is complicity. All world leaders, including the UK Prime minister, must condemn these atrocities and ask Russian authorities to bring those responsible to justice.’ Matt Beard, Executive Director, All Out.
Fifty years ago this June the LGBTI movement was born. This human rights crisis demands that we all become activists like those brave people half a century ago. We cannot stand back whilst our LGBTI siblings are being detained, tortured and killed.’ Kristine Garina, President, EuroPride
Shames Abdelwahab – 0044 (0)2033972190 / email@example.com
Dan glass – 0044 (0)7717811747 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Yuri Guaiana – +39 340 46 94 701 – email@example.com
Notes To Editors
27.01.19 – 1pm – 2pm QUEER POWER PROTEST against Chechnyan murders this Holocaust Memorial Day – Facebook page here – PLEASE SHARE THIS FAR AND WIDE – WE ARE HERE! WE ARE QUEER! All contributions / if you would like to speak / press requests to firstname.lastname@example.org
Where – Russian consulate, Corner of Bayswater Road and Ossington Street, London W2 4LW – nearest tube ‘Notting Hill Gate’
When – 1-2pm on Sunday 27th January 2019
What – Please bring as many people as you can AND bring as many pairs of shoes as possible for a sculpture of shoes just like those piled up outside of Auschwitz.
CHECHNYA: ‘TWO DEAD AND DOZENS HELD IN LGBT PURGE, SAY ACTIVISTS’ GUARDIAN 14.01.19
Please support and sign the global ‘All Out’ petition here – https://go.allout.org/en/a/chechnya-2019-uk/