April 17, 2017

Cardin Statement on Reported Anti-LGBT Campaign in Chechnya

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement Monday on reports of forced disappearances, torture, and killing of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) individuals, primarily gay men, in Chechnya:

“I am gravely concerned about the growing threat facing LGBT individuals in the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation, given reports that hundreds of LGBT persons, particularly gay men, have been detained and tortured, and at least three individuals killed, by Chechen security forces.  Moreover, the Novaya Gazeta journalist who bravely reported on this alleged anti-LGBT campaign has now come under threat herself. The calloused, inhuman behavior of Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov is well-known, and he has created an atmosphere of terror for LGBT individuals.  But in the Russian Federation, the buck stops with President Vladimir Putin—who must  immediately signal that any violence against individuals on account of their sexual orientation or gender identity is unacceptable and ensure a robust investigation and prosecution of any officials who are perpetrating it.  No one should fear for their life simply because of who they are.”