The Gay Star News crisis appeal for Chechnya ends today on a massive success (11 April).
Readers managed to raise over triple our target. More than $13,700 has been raised with more still coming in.
In Russian money, that is around 900,000 rubles.
This fundraising will go directly to the Russian LGBT Network so they can help people be free from the ‘purge’ in Chechnya.
Purge in Chechnya
LGBTI people are being rounded up, detained, tortured and executed in Chechnya. The ‘gay purge’ has been happening periodically since the end of 2016.
What we know is that Chechen authorities have targeted human rights defenders, their critics and LGBTI people. Since 2016 hundreds of people have been detained, with many of those executed. The authorities even tortured several LGBTI detainees to death.
Even though when international attention has focused on Chechnya after each ‘gay purge’, the persecution stops for awhile, but it picks up again once that attention wanes.
Tris Reid-Smith, editor and co-founder of Gay Star News, would like to thank readers.
‘Your generosity from the start of this emergency appeal has been completely overwhelming,’ he said.
‘I would like to thank everyone who has contributed either their money or their social reach to this campaign.
‘Thanks to you, far more people now know about what’s happening in Chechnya.
‘And thanks to you, our friends in Russia will be able to save LGBTI lives.’
It has to stop
Mikhail Tumasov, Chairperson of the Russian LGBT Network, said: ‘I thank the Gay Star News team and all who contributed to LGBTI people in Chechnya.
‘We beat the goal in a week. It shows how human and powerful we are!
‘Stick together and one day we’ll wake up in the world where there is no place for hate, discrimination and violence.’
The Russian LGBTI Network has been the key organization in getting LGBTI Chechens to safety. They have organized new IDs for them, rushed them to safe houses where they provide them with bedding, clothing, food and in some cases, emergency medical care.
From there they are also trying to evacuate them to a new country where they can seek asylum and hopefully lead new lives in safety.
Help us make a difference
You can still make a difference. The Chechnya Crisis Appeal will stay up for the next few days.
As well as using our investigative journalism to keep you informed about what’s happening on-the-ground as it happens; we’re inviting you to make a difference today by donating to the Chechyna Crisis Appeal.
Every dollar, euro and pound you give will help evacuate LGBTI people in the most danger. The money will also be used to pressure the Chechen authorities to stop this persecution.
Please also share our appeal with your followers, friends and family; ensuring we raise awareness and apply pressure to permanently end this abuse.