April 29, 2017

Barbaric Treatment of Gays is Not Just Chechnya but Also Turkey

 Plainclothes police officers detain LGBT rights activists as they try to gather for a pride parade, which was banned by the governorship, in Istanbul, Turkey, June 26, 2016.
In June, Istanbul police banned LGBT parades after Islamist and nationalist groups threatened that they would not allow "degenerates" to hold events on Turkish soil. Turkish police fired tear gas to disperse a gay rally in defiance of the ban.
In International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association report on LGBT rights in 49 European countries says Turkey was number 46 on the list. Rankings are based on how the laws and policies of each country impact the lives of LGBT people

PERSECUTION of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) people in Chechnya and other parts of Eastern Europe has been branded “barbaric” by Newport West MP Paul Flynn.

Reports of LGBT people being arrested or otherwise persecuted in Chechnya, which is formally a republic of Russia, have been widespread, although unconfirmed, for a number of years.

And, speaking during a debate on the issue in Parliament last week, Labour MP Mr Flynn said he was concerned human rights abuses such as this were also taking place elsewhere.

“We entirely support the opposition, which should be worldwide, but we should reflect on the fact that this terrible activity is spreading,” he said.

“One reason for that is the fact that there is now less pressure on countries to improve their human rights, because they do not have the incentive of joining the European Union, which demands high standards.

“We are, sadly, going back to barbaric treatment not just in Chechnya but in many other countries, including Turkey.”

And his party colleague for Torfaen Nick Thomas-Symonds said the Russian government “have been found wanting when it comes to human rights”.

“They need to be constantly reminded that they should honour their international human rights obligations,” he said.

“How can we ensure that other countries are similarly robust in explaining that to the Russian government, not least because those members of the LGBT community in Chechnya must be feeling so insecure at the moment?”

Conservative MP for Rutland and Melton Sir Alan Duncan, who led the debate, replied: “We work through all collective European and other organisations, and, of course, through the United Nations more widely.

“Because we speak frankly, we have had a rather scratchy relationship with the Russians recently.

“But we will not shy away from raising these issues both frankly and forcefully.

“I can assure the honorable gentleman that we will maintain a policy of robust engagement with the Russians, and that it will include matters of this sort.”


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