Les CHEFF se joignent aux trois coupoles LGBTQI wallonne, bruxelloise et flamande, pour dénoncer les crimes commis actuellement en Tchétchénie à l’encontre des citoyens homosexuels. Ainsi, nous relayons leur manifeste (uniquement disponible en anglais et néerlandais) et nous nous joindrons à la mobilisation organisée ce jeudi 20 avril devant la Bourse de Bruxelles à 18h30.


RainbowHouse Brussels, çavaria and Arc-en-Ciel Wallonie, united in the Belgian Pride, strongly condemn the cruel human rights violations against LGBT+ – in particular gay – people in Chechnya. The three Belgian LGBT+ umbrella organizations call upon Russian and Chechen authorities to immediately stop the arbitrary detention, torture and killing of (perceived) gay men in Chechnya, and to allow an independent investigation to take place in order to reveal what has happened or is still happening. We also call on Belgian and European authorities to put pressure on Russian and Chechen authorities in any way possible. This Thursday April 20th at 18h30, a protest and solidarity gathering will take place in front of the Bourse (Beursplein) in Brussels.


Early April, the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, published an article reporting the arbitrary detention, torture and extrajudicial killing of (perceived) gay and bisexual men on a mass scale in Chechnya. Since then, the newspaper and local and international organizations continued their fact-finding mission. This confirmed at least 100 men are being detained in an illegal prison in Chechnya facing torture, inhumane and degrading treatment, resulting in at least three deaths, and a consistent pattern of abuse. Male contacts from their phones suffered the same fate. Meanwhile, Chechen officials continue to deny that gay people live in the region. No actions by Russian authorities have been undertaken whatsoever.


It’s more than appalling that such severe violations of the most basic human rights take place in a country that considers itself a world power. Discriminating, detaining and even torturing and killing people, solely on the basis of their sexual attraction to people of their own gender, is unimaginably primitive and objectionable, and should be strongly condemned by all people and authorities. Such crimes may never be tolerated, not under any regime, not behind any border!


Situations like the one in Chechnya and elsewhere force people on a daily basis to flee their countries and search for shelter in safer areas. Just this year, the Belgian LGBT+ movement made ‘asylum and migration’ the central political theme, under the slogan “Crossing Borders”. In its position paper, the LGBT+ movement defines clear demands in six themes: determination of credibility, safe countries, circumstances in reception centers, a common European asylum policy, integration and solidarity, also within the LGBT+ community itself. The text can be found on www.pride.be. These demands will play a central role during the Belgian Pride of May 20th. Prior to the event, all organizations that take part in the Parade and the Pride Village, including political parties, will need to sign a charter, of which these demands form a part.


ILGA-Europe’s website contains information and updates from Chechnya, and a list of ways that individuals can take action themselves: www.ilga-europe.org/Chechnya. Moreover, ILGA-Europe’s website section on Chechnya also lists statements made by (inter)national public authorities and NGOs: http://www.ilga-europe.org/chechnya/statements.


We welcome the statement made by Belgian foreign minister Didier Reynders, in which he expresses his concern, but we insist on a much stronger positioning by Belgian governments, parliaments and political parties.