Saints LGBT+ protest Chechen hate crimes

Anti-gay campaigns in Chechnya have resulted in authorities detaining dozens of individuals suspected of being homosexual.

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Photo credit: Duncan Swan

On Thursday Saints LGBT+ held a demonstration against hate crimes in the Russian republic of Chechnya.

Anti-gay campaigns in Chechnya have resulted in authorities detaining dozens of individuals suspected of being homosexual.

The catalyst for these events is believed to have been an attempt to organise a Chechen Pride parade earlier this year.

Saints LGBT+ took photos in the formation of a pink triangle at St Salvator’s before joining members of Amnesty St Andrews for a pier walk.

The pink triangle symbol had previously been used in Nazi Germany to identify gay prisoners, it has since been utilised as a symbol of unity and solidarity in the anti-discrimination movement.

Photo credit: Duncan Swan

Association LGBT+ Officer, Ryan Hay said “it is the mission of Saints LGBT+ to oppose discrimination of all kinds. The kind of homophobic hate crime that is occurring right now in Chechnya is reprehensible, and we had to take a stance against it.

“On Thursday evening, we stood together with Amnesty International St Andrews in solidarity with those victims, signing government petitions for their aid, and taking donations for Russian LGBTI Network.”

He continued “If nothing else, we felt the need to demonstrate that St. Andrews is an inclusive and supportive place, where people of all sexualities and gender identities are treated with respect and dignity: no kind of anti-LGBT+ discrimination would be tolerated here.”

Alvi Karimov, spokesperson for Chechnya’s leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, described reports of suspected homosexuals being detained in his country as “absolute lies and disinformation.”

Mr Kamirov based his denial on the claim that there were no gay people in Chechnya.

He told Interfax news agency, “you cannot detain and persecute people who simply do not exist in the republic.”

Mr Hay urged those who wished to help to donate to the Russian LGBTI Network online, and sign a petition for their guaranteed asylum in the U.K. at https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/195146

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