The world knows by now that LGBTI people in Chechnya are being targeted, tortured, raped and executed.
From late 2016, Chechen authorities started rounding up people suspected of being LGBTI and throwing them into ‘concentration camps’ in what would become known as a ‘gay purge’.
As a result of the persecution, hundreds of LGBTI Chechens have had to escape the Northern Caucasus region to other cities in Russia. But they are not even safe there. LGBTI Chechens must flee to a new country to ensure their safety.
The Russian LGBT Network has been helping LGBTI Chechens escape. The Network organizes new travel and identity documents for them, transport and safe housing in Russian cities. Once they’re in the safe houses, the need food, clothes, psychological care and in some cases, emergency medical treatment.
Next, the Network must help them get out of Russia.
They liaise with governments to help get LGBTI Chechens visas in new countries or help them seek asylum. Then there’s the cost of flying them to their new homes.
Saving lives is a costly exercise and all in all, it costs about US$5,108 (€4,500) to safely evacuate one person from Chechnya.
In 2017 alone, the Russian LGBT Network spent US$543,877 (€479,064) evacuating LGBTI people from Chechnya. That figure is on top of money spent running their vital LGBTI helpline and support services for all Russians.
To put that into perspective this is how much they spent on the following:
- Social workers: $86,231
- Travel expenses withing Russia: $69, 464
- Visas and flights out of Russia: $63,236
- Emergency housing: $51,738
- Food: $51,738
- Medical assistance: $44,073
- Salary for staff working 24 hours a day: $23,953
A further $55,331 went to document replacement, necessities such as feminine hygiene products and communication.
Chechnya Crisis Appeal
Chechnya’s gay purge is showing no signs of slowing down, so the Russian LGBT Network must continue to help people to safety.
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. And 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.