Pride in London leaders Michael Salter-Church and Alison Camps have today (Tuesday 4 April) written to Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to voice grave concerns following reports that authorities in the Russian republic of Chechnya have launched a campaign to identify and execute members of the LGBT+ community within the quasi-independent state, formerly under Russian control.
The letter urges the UK Government and the Department for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to take action to assist the LGBT+ community in Chechnya and to offer support and protection against these heinous acts of genocide and also calls on them to intervene and act decisively.
We must take action against this completely abhorrent behaviour. The UK Government must not allow these atrocities to happen and we must act now to ensure the safety and welfare for the LGBT+ community in the region.
The text of the letter is below:
Pride in London alarmed at state sponsored LGBT+ genocide in Chechnya
Pride in London provides a platform for London’s LGBT+ community to raise awareness of the issues concerning LGBT+ people, and campaign for the freedoms that will allow us to live our lives on a genuinely equal footing with straight friends, family, neighbours and colleagues. We have always valued your close cooperation and support for Pride in London whilst serving as Mayor of London.
As a global platform, Pride in London has regularly used our voice, on behalf of all LGBT+ Londoners, to shine a light on atrocities committed against gay communities living in other countries around the world.
Pride in London is alarmed to learn that authorities in the Russian republic of Chechnya have launched a campaign to identify and execute members of the LGBT+ community within the quasi-independent state, formally under Russian control.
As you will know, the Russian Government recently introduced laws designed to curtail the activities of activists within the countries LGBT+ community, in a bid to the far right and religious groups to oppress and unilaterally erode the civil liberties of gay Russians. Such a policy has stemmed from a culture which seeks to attack and vilify this community, and hate crimes, at least those brave enough to be reported, continue to soar.
This twisted and damaging political rhetoric should and must be challenged at a global level by the Government of the United Kingdom, and all those who have bravely sought to protect the rights of the LGBT+ community in their domestic territory.
Pride in London would urge the UK Government to take meaningful steps to assist the LGBT+ community in Chechnya and to offer protection and support to what amounts to state sponsored genocide. The statements issued by the authorities in Chechnya, that LGBT+ citizens do not exist in the state, are a chilling indictment to the goals of an extermination agenda rather than that of fact.
On behalf of LGBT+ Londoners, we demand that the UK Government, and the Department for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs take immediate action to intervene in this extraordinary development.
Alison Camps and Michael Salter-Church
Co-Chairs, Pride in London