Gay Rights : Canada Opens its Doors to Chechen LGBT Refugees

Canada is said to have been silently helping Chechen gay men fleeing persecution due to their sexual identity. The report came from EUobserver whose source, which was “close to the Lithuanian government,” said that Canada had been working with Lithuania and Russian LGBT Network since May.

Canada joins Lithuania, Germany, and France in accepting Chechen refugees as well as one other country that wishes to remain anonymous.

It is said that Russian LGBT Network, a non-governmental organization (NGO) currently keeping the Chechen gay men in hiding, has briefed the EU member countries of the situation. Only a few countries were able to help however, because of “refugee fatigue” or “compassion fatigue.” In fact, according to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), there are 22.5 million refugees today and only 189,300 have been resettled in 2016. Most of these refugees came from South Sudan (1.4M), Afghanistan (2.5M), and Syria (5.5M). Thirty percent of the refugees are said to have been hosted by Africa, 26% by Middle East and North Africa, 17% by Europe, 16% by Americas, and 11% by Asia and the Pacific.

Russian LGBT Network representative Tatiana Vinnichenko told EUobserver that because they are a small organization with very limited resources it is hard for them to request for assistance from foreign governments. Vinnichenko also stressed out that “governments had the right to refuse help.” But because of the refugee crisis situation worldwide coupled with Russian LGBT Network’s own limitations, the NGO is left with few options.

The Chechen gay purge has shocked the world, prompting a massive global outcry. But the persecution persists to this day, several months after the disappearances of the gay men in Chechnya was first exposed by Novaya Gazeta, a Russian newspaper.

For his part, Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov continues to deny the existence of gay men in Chechnya. During his interview last month with David Scott—HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel correspondent—he said that, “We don’t have those kinds of people here. We don’t have any gays. If there are any, take them to Canada. Praise be to God. Take them far from us so we don’t have them at home. To purify our blood, if there are any here, take them.”

A4A members who missed our fundraising activity last April but wish to help the displaced Chechen gay men may do so through Rainbow Railroad, a non-profit organization in Canada that “helps to save lives of LGBT people at risk of persecution worldwide.” Rainbow Railroad has made Chechnya LGBT their priority and is also working closely with Russian LGBT Network in helping the gay Chechen refugees find a new home.

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  1. Walter Butler

    Ha! “Take them away”? This idiot doesn’t realize that more will be born that way. So ignorant and blinded by religious dogma.

  2. Lamar

    …No ones bright enough or open-minded enough to realize, nature will always find a way, to protect us from ourselves (humans) in this case of homosexuals; humans, from over-populating ourselves…
    Thus protecting “life” on this planet, period, just get that through your thick heads for crying out loud, is what I’d love to say to the “powers (idiots) that be.” Life, its not just about humans whom seemingly, fall quite short of “humanity.” You can/should see that, right the fuck in front of you, but you can’t see the truth for your own psychosis, clearly! Those humans, at the “apex” of the power structure, are not, as bright as they think they are, let alone righteous, as they claim to be… “Checks & balances, of procreation” by Nature, naturally… It’s all about “how” to (accept) this as a very possible truth about ‘us’, as humans, going forward, not backwards into the dark-ages, again?!

  3. Want2play77

    I was going to say, initially that gays should not be the only ones given refugee status, what about women and children?
    But then I did some research, and learned that is is just the gay community that is being targeted.
    Being informed, what a concept!
    Good for you, Canada!

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