Showing posts with label International Hate Crime. Show all posts
Showing posts with label International Hate Crime. Show all posts

October 26, 2019

Stats Coming in From UK on LGBT Hate Crimes are Shocking!

Revellers wave flags during a gay pride parade in downtown Madrid, Spain, July 2, 2016.

Revelers wave flags during a gay pride parade in downtown Madrid, Spain, July 2, 2016.
© 2016 Reuters

Philippa H Stewart 

Senior Media Officer
New hate crime data for the United Kingdom shows a shocking number of incidents targeting LGBT people. As I was reading these figures, the need for LGBT-inclusive classes in UK schools has never been more apparent.
The data, released last week, shows police recorded 14,491 crimes committed against people because of their sexual orientation in 2018-19.
Police recorded further 2,333 offenses against transgender people because of their gender identity.
Every year, the UK government releases police data on hate crimes on the basis of race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Offenses are recorded as hate crimes if the
victim or witnesses believe the motivation is one of these things because of, for example, 
slurs shouted during the attack. The term “hate crime” can cover verbal abuse, intimidation, 
threats, harassment, assault, and bullying, as well as damage to property.
This year's reported figures were up across the board, something the Home Office says is largely due to improved reporting and recording methods. According to Stonewall UK, only one out
 of five hate crimes against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) 
But despite an increase in reporting, the number of cases that lead to prosecutions has actually fallen.
One way to help reduce the vitriol aimed at LGBT people could be to teach children 
about inclusion and acceptance from a young age.
But attempts to add more LGBT-inclusive curriculum have caused some parents to pull their children out of school in some cases on faith grounds.
Protests targeted the No Outsiders program, which is taught at a group of schools
 in Birmingham and encourages children to accept differences in, among other things,
 families and relationships.
The schools suspended the program in March. When the classes resumed after the summer break,
the schools faced renewed protests. Some cities with similar lessons, such as Manchester
have faced problems as well. The government issued a set of guidelines to schools dealing with protests, but some teachers told the BBC they still don’t feel they
The UK plans to make “relationship” education compulsory by 2020, which is great news
  for future generations of LGBT children. But for adults facing intolerance now, the police
If you have been victimized don't be a victim any longer send a clear message that hate crimes will not be tolerated and will be investigated.

January 23, 2018

Gay Assaults in Amsterdam's Water Park Continues in an Alarming Trend

'It seems some biogots and hater don't like either gays or blacks visiting the park'adamfoxie

 Amsterdam Water Park, Holland

The police are looking for witnesses of a serious assault in Westerpark in Amsterdam between 2:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 13th. The police believe the victim, a 48-year-old man, was attacked because of his sexual orientation.

The man was walking in Westerpark near the playground when two men wearing black clothes approached him. They shouted at him and insulted him, before hitting him hard in the face multiple times. A man and woman sitting on a nearby bench shouted at the men to stop and they fled. The perpetrators left the park via Zaanstraat and drove away on a scooter. The victim was left with several injuries. 

Both perpetrators were wearing motorcycle helmets and spoke with a foreign accent, according to the police. One of them was short with a stout posture and was wearing a short black jacket. The second perpetrator was taller with a slim figure. He was wearing a mid-length dark coat. 

The police call on witnesses to come forward. Investigators particularly want to talk to the man and the woman who stopped the attack. 

Over the past months, there were multiple gay bashing and anti-LGBT violence cases in Amsterdam. On New Year's day, a 22-year-old man was attacked in Amsterdam by a group of men who called him a "cancer faggot", and left him with broken teeth. In November two kissing women, in Amsterdam for documentary film festival IDFA, were assaulted. In August the police arrested three men for viciously assaulting a gay couple in the Dutch capital in June. And in May two investigations into assaults on homosexual men in the city were halted due to lack of evidence. Both these incidents happened in January 2017. 

The current anti-LGBT violence trend is not only limited to Amsterdam. Five teenagers are currently awaiting trial for attacking a gay couple in Arnhem with bolt-cutters in April last year. A gay couple in Eindhoven reported being assaulted on the same weekend as the Arnhem couple. And a group of teenagers was arrested for assaulting a lesbian couple in Rotterdam in June. 

By Janene Pieters

November 16, 2017

How A Gay Killing Changed Australia

Dr George Duncan
Image captionDr. George Duncan was 41 when he drowned in Adelaide in 1972

We saw how the killing of Milk in California had an impact in that state but also the country. The same for Martin L.King and the Kennedy's. These people were killed because they were out front with their beliefs and were honest about how they wanted change. Before them, no one had said the same things in public which caused some people's intelligence to be blinded by their hatred. If intelligence was playing its role instead of hate towards gays and blacks they would have realized that what they were trying to quiet was now getting a megaphone everywhere. Killers of ideas are either just plain ignorant or so blinded by hate they can't see ahead of their killings what is going to do to what these victims/heroes were saying. 
Nothing like the spotlight to bring out the dirt and corruption on those paid to destroy corruption and enforce fairness towards all. Some people, particularly in institutions with lots of power, get the idea their jobs is to prosecute, not to find the defective link and bring it to the justice through the system of Courts, lawyers and prosecutors. 
Just recently you had a cam showing cops in Los Angeles CA. putting drugs in a man's wallet to have an excuse to arrest him. What was going through their minds? Who is ultimately responsible? We are because we elect the politicians that give the police their guns and shields and more important their training. Many times training is rushed through because they want to fill vacancies quick other times not enough importance is given how the police are supposed to enforce and never prosecute or punish an individual. We see that the worse the crime the better those perps get treated. Why? The spotlight is on them and is a pity that there is very little light to see what cops do on their shifts: For instance, in NYC the police is allowed to turn off their new given cams. Right from the start, a new program to safeguard the cop and the public is blinded by having a policy taken over by bad one. We put a band on it so it can't see. They confuse good public relations by seeing the cams but we don't know if they are working or not. This is something I could not do working in an office in midtown. I was on live video from the time I came into the time I left minus bathroom breaks. What was  I guarding? Tests which is important but is not life-saving nor life taking nor reputation squasher.      Adam Gonzalez🦊

On Wednesday, Australia learned the result of a national vote that showed decisive support for legalizing same-sex marriage. The discussion over changing the law has been one of the most hotly debated issues in the nation's recent social and political history.
But the death of a university lecturer in Adelaide 45 years ago led to an even more fundamental change for Australia's gay community. Jamie Duncan reports.
In the foyer of the University of Adelaide's law faculty building, a photograph of a sober-looking man wearing dark-rimmed glasses stares out at posters backing a "yes" vote on Australia's same-sex marriage postal survey.
The scene is a symbol of evolving social debate in Australia. The photograph below is part of a memorial to Dr. George Duncan, a gay law lecturer at the university who is 1972 was killed a stone's throw away at a riverbank in an attack suspected to have been committed by police officers.
The crime, still unpunished, revolted mainstream Australia and led the state of South Australia (SA) to become the first national jurisdiction to decriminalize homosexuality.

Tragic return

Dr. Duncan, born in London in 1930, moved to Melbourne with his parents at seven.
He studied classical philology at the University of Melbourne but did not complete the course because he contracted tuberculosis in 1950. Later, Dr. Duncan earned degrees in arts and law at St John's College, Cambridge, before completing a Ph.D. at the University of Bristol.
A practicing Anglican, he returned to Australia to lecture in law at the University of Adelaide, starting on 25 March 1972.
Less than two months later, Dr. Duncan was dead. He was 41. In 1970s Adelaide, homosexuality was illegal and the southern bank of the River Torrens in the heart of the city was a well-known meeting spot for gay people.
The bank drops sharply below tree-lined Victoria Drive, the northern boundary of the University of Adelaide. It's out of sight from homes north of the river and riverside paths were deserted at night.
Around 23:00 on 10 May 1972, a gang of men confronted Dr. Duncan and another man, Roger James, on the southern bank, near a footbridge.
Both men were thrown into the water but Dr. Duncan could not swim and drowned.
Mr. James suffered a broken ankle in the attack. He crawled up to Victoria Drive. A passing motorist took him to hospital. He later refused to identify the attackers.
Shortly after police retrieved Dr. Duncan's body, a TV news crew arrived. Incredibly, police placed the body back in the river and dragged it out again for the camera. 
In the days following his death, rumors began circulating that members of the police vice squad were responsible, but witnesses feared for their lives.
South Australian Premier Don Dunstan offered protection for anyone who came forward. No-one did.

Case gathers profile

A coroner's inquest began on 7 June 1972, at which two members of the vice squad refused to answer questions. They and a third detective were suspended and later resigned.
A 1972 newspaper report on the death of Dr George Duncan, also showing a coroner and police chiefs, none of whom were suspected in the death
 A 1972 newspaper front page. No-one pictured was suspected in Dr. Duncan's death
By then, the case, the possibility of police involvement and a broader discussion about attitudes to homosexuality were making headlines around Australia.
Amid the charged political atmosphere, Mr. Dunstan authorized police to call in detectives from New Scotland Yard.
Meanwhile, Murray Hill, a lawmaker, tabled a bill in the state's ultra-conservative Legislative Council to decriminalize homosexual activity between consenting adult men.
It was drafted by two junior solicitors - his son, Robert, and colleague John Cummins.
Robert Hill, later an Australian government minister, said the bill was his father's reaction to a discriminatory law that by 1972 lagged well behind community values. 
"I guess it surprised some people because in many ways [Murray Hill] was a quite conservative chap, but he was progressive in others, particularly in anti-discrimination," Robert Hill told the BBC.
The bill passed, but further amendments later in 1972 destroyed its intent.
Mr. Hill said the public reaction to Dr. Duncan's death was strong. 
"It started a debate about how the police were behaving in relation to homosexuals around the Torrens," Mr. Hill said, adding that suspicion of police involvement increased over time.
"And it added some momentum to the debate about decriminalization. It had started before at a fairly low tempo, but when the public became aware of what happened disbelief turned to anger and general community anger pushed the debate along."
Community disquiet spread around Australia as gay rights rallies in the big cities pushed for reform. 
The inquest found that Dr. Duncan died from violence inflicted by unknown persons. A subsequent police investigation also failed to identify suspects.

Image copyright  

A memorial plaque was erected at the top of the riverbank beside the footbridge to mark the 30th anniversary of Dr Duncan's death.
 A memorial plaque erected near the river to mark the 30th anniversary oDr. Duncan's death

The case revealed the previously little-known practice among a few police officers of terrorizing gay men by the Torrens. Mr. Hill said the brutality made the general public uncomfortable.
In October 1972, the British detectives called into the case delivered their final report, which was never released, and the SA Crown Solicitor decreed no charges would result, further fuelling the case for change and turning Dr. Duncan into a symbol for gay rights advocates.
A second decriminalization bill introduced by another lawmaker, Peter Duncan, was defeated twice, but the same bill passed in 1975.
It was far from the end of the matter.


In July 1985, a former vice squad member, Mick O'Shea, told an Adelaide newspaper that there had been a cover-up to protect three other squad members who he said killed Dr Duncan.
In February 1986, the three were charged with his manslaughter. Only two faced trial, and in September 1988 both were acquitted. A police taskforce on the case was disbanded in 1990 with no prospect of identifying other suspects.
Decriminalisation of male homosexuality had passed in all states and territories bar one by 1990. Tasmania clung to its anti-homosexual laws until May 1997 - passed only when gay activists threatened a court challenge to the laws.
Long-time gay rights activist and same-sex marriage campaigner Rodney Croome were at the heart of the fight in Tasmania.
He said Dr. Duncan is an inspiration for gay rights.
"For people like me who became part of the movement for decriminalization a generation after that, it was a pivotal moment in that historical narrative that we all became a part of," Mr. Croome told the BBC.
"It was often cited by people from that earlier generation - not just people from Adelaide, but people from all over Australia - as a turning point, a key moment that revealed the depth of our oppression and the need for our emancipation." Mr Croome said he sees parallels between broad support for decriminalizing homosexuality following Dr. Duncan's death and the same-sex marriage debate in Australia today. 
But he believes the political debate is vastly different, believing that there is an "element that sees empathy as weakness and refuses to empathize with LGBTI people, instead wanting to portray us as aggressors, and a threat to democracy and civilization."
Opponents of same-sex marriage in Australia's debate have consistently argued that they are protecting traditional values and religious freedoms. Anti-reform lobby groups have said changing the law could have negative consequences for children.
Mr. Hill said today's same-sex marriage debate is also a fight for equality, but the 1970s debate was colored by Dr. Duncan's horrific death and the fact that harmless acts between consenting men were considered criminal.
"You can argue that same-sex marriage is a further progressive reform, but I think it was a fundamentally different sort of debate, and I think the horrific story of what happened to Dr. Duncan played a key part in contributing to almost a demand that the law change," he said.
SA Police still offers an A$200,000 (£120,000; $150,000) reward for information leading to a conviction in the case.
Author Jamie Duncan and Dr. George Duncan are not related.

September 24, 2017

New Campaign Against Hate: "Come Out For LGBT"

UK gay rights organization Stonewall has launched a nationwide campaign aimed at galvanizing LGBTQ allies in the fight against hate crimes and discrimination, as new research exposes shocking levels of abuse directed toward sexual and gender minorities in Britain. 
Come Out For LGBT,” the London-based charity’s first major campaign in a decade, is calling on passive supporters of LGBTQ rights to get involved in a range of activities designed to tackle mounting intolerance. 
An image from the "Come Out For LGBT" campaign, launched by UK gay rights group Stonewall Courtesy of Stonewall
“Believing in equal LGBT rights is great, but we want to see people take this to the next level, whether that’s something big or small. It could mean attending a pride event and cheering, or sharing a social media post, or even just calling out homophobic language like ‘that’s so gay’ when you hear it at school or work," Stonewall’s senior communications officer, Matt Horwood, told NBC News. 
“Come Out For LGBT" is reaching the public through an online campaign video and images displayed on buses, billboards and other public spaces, with publicity companies providing free media space. 
The charity also created campaign materials that can used in faith communities, workplaces and schools. “Those groups can use the message of the campaign to help impact positive work for LGBT equality in their communities,” Horwood said.  
Meanwhile, Arsenal and Manchester United are among several leading English Premier League soccer teams lending their support to the campaign in a further bid to stamp out the homophobic abuse still rife in the British game. 
“LGBT fans want to know that their favorite players and clubs support them back and do not agree with homophobia, biphobia or transphobia,” Horwood said. 
“Come Out For LGBT” coincides with the release of a Stonewall report revealing hate crimes against LGBTQ people have shot up by almost 80 percent across England, Scotland and Wales since 2013. 
The findings, based on a YouGov survey of more than 5,000 LGBTQ people in Britain, found 16 percent of lesbian, gay and bisexual people have experienced a hate crime or incident in the last 12 months, up from 9 percent four years ago. More than 40 percent of trans people have been targeted because of their gender identity in the past year, the report showed. 
Victims recounted cases of intimidation, harassment, physical assault and unwanted sexual contact, with those from ethnic minority backgrounds, young people, disabled people and those belonging to non-Christian faiths disproportionately affected. 
Abebi, 34, from Scotland, told researchers she had been attacked by two women as she tried to use the bathroom in a bar. “They began pushing me and shouted that I was in the wrong bathroom and pointed out that this was the ladies’ bathroom. I told them that I knew which bathroom it was and I was in the right place, but they persisted. Since then I avoid public toilets wherever possible,” she said. 
Four in five LGBTQ victims who experienced a hate crime or incident chose not to report it to police, according to the findings. 
Stonewall, while acknowledging the huge strides Britain has taken in recent years to protect LGBTQ rights, called the report's findings “stark,” with many respondents admitting to being fearful of walking down certain streets or holding their partner's hand. 
“While we’re aware and appalled at the fact that anti-LGBT hate crimes remain an enormous problem for LGBT people in Britain, the extent to which our latest report proves this did come as a shock,” Horwood said. 
“Come Out For LGBT”, backed by celebrities, sports stars and members of Britain’s armed forces, is an extension of Stonewall’s iconic “Get Over It!” campaign launched in 2007 to tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in the classroom. 
The charity took its name from the famous riots in 1969 at the Stonewall Inn in New York City, which have largely been credited with igniting the modern global LGBTQ rights movement.

April 18, 2017

Amb.Haley is Asking for Accountability on Persecution of Gay Men in Chechnya

 United Nations, NYC

 Human Rights First today praised to U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley for pressing for accountability over the ongoing persecution of gay men in Chechnya. Ambassador Haley’s public call for action followed a letter from Human Rights First President and CEO Elisa Massimino that expressed alarm over reports of the detention and abuse of over one hundred gay men by Chechen authorities. During the recent crackdown at least three men have been killed. 
Massimino urged Ambassador Haley to work with U.S. allies to develop a comprehensive response and to engage with her Russian counterparts to ensure a thorough investigation of the abuses. The letter came in advance of today’s thematic hearing on human rights at the U.N. Security Council.

“A comprehensive international response to the situation in Chechnya is crucial to asserting the international community’s values and advancing human rights,” wrote Massimino. “I strongly support your initiative to use the U.S. presidency of the U.N. Security Council to advance international thinking on the clear links between upholding universal values and the maintenance of international peace and security, and hope that you will use this effort to call attention to an ongoing outrage that has no place in the modern world.”

Last month independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported on the mass detention of men “in connection with their nontraditional sexual orientation, or suspicion of such.” Journalists reporting on the situation have been threatened by Chechen government officials and clerics. In addition to the deaths, survivors reported beatings and torture, as well as being forced to disclose the names of other suspected gay men in the region. As the crisis continues, LGBT organizations on the ground are evacuating victims from the country.

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov’s spokesperson categorically denied that the abuses are taking place, calling the reports “absolute lies and disinformation.” He alluded to honor killings of LGBT people within the republic, saying, “if such people existed in Chechnya, law enforcement would not have to worry about them, as their own relatives would have sent them to where they could never return.”

At the time of her confirmation hearing, Ambassador Haley affirmed that “every person deserves decency and respect.” She maintained this commitment last month when she highlighted the need to integrate human rights issues into the agenda of the U.N. Security Council. In light of the current crisis and today’s thematic hearing, Ambassador Haley’s response is a welcome continuation of her commitment to protecting human rights.

“The protection of the most vulnerable is key to advancing human rights for all citizens, and to securing stability, peace, and prosperity,” added Massimino.
Human Rights First

For more information or to speak with Massimino, contact Christopher Plummer or 202-370-3310.

April 17, 2017

Canada“Gay Killings Reprehensible"asks for Russia Investigation

The Silence from the US is deafening!

Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs called the alleged detention and killings of gay and bisexual men in Chechnya "reprehensible," as LGBT rights groups called on the international community to act.
In a statement released Saturday, Chrystia Freeland called on Russian authorities to investigate the reports and "to immediately ensure the safety of all persons in Chechnya who may be at risk due to their sexual orientation."
  • Russia urged to investigate 'horrific' reports of gay men being killed in Chechnya
  • Canadians protest Russia's anti-gay law with letters to government
The allegations that up to 100 men are being detained prompted a protest outside the Russian embassy in London on Wednesday.
Russian independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta has reported that at least three of those men have been killed in secret prisons described as "concentration camps." It also reported threats from Chechen religious leaders of  “reprisals" for its coverage of the issue.  
"Human rights have no borders. Canada believes human rights are universal and indivisible, and these include the human rights of LGBTQ2 people," Freeland`s statement read.
"We deplore acts of violence and discrimination, in all regions of the world, committed against individuals because of their sexual orientation or gender identity."

Chechen leaders 'publicly calling for violence'

Björn van Roozendaal, program director for the International Lesbian and Gay Association in Europe, told CBC News that several people within the organization are on the ground in Russia, working to verify the reports. Some have spoken to people who claim to be victims.
"There's a lot of word about violence against these people and torture and rape and beatings. People are alleged to have died because of the situation on the ground," he said.
Van Roozendaal blames authorities for their inaction, and says some have even encouraged the violence.
"The leaders in Chechnya are saying that there are no gay people, so this information cannot be true," he said, noting Russia has said possible victims should reach out to their leaders.
A spokesman for Ramzan Kadyrov, president of the southern Russian region of Chechnya and a vocal supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was quoted by Russia's Interfax news agency as denying the alleged abuses have taken place.
“Nobody can detain or harass anyone who is simply not present in the republic," Alvi Karimov was quoted as telling Interfax  
There have also been calls from religious leaders for families to protect family honour by killing the son or brother who is detained and released.
"However, the leaders have been quite publicly calling for violence," van Roozendaal said. "They have said in particular — the religious leaders in Chechnya have said — that people should not exist like that in Chechnya."

Helping people to get out

For now, van Roozendaal and his organization are focusing on helping people get out of the region, and hopes international pressure on the government will lead to change.
"It's important to keep pressure on the government, that's extremely important," he said. "International organizations, including the United Nations, have been speaking out."
“[We hope] it will send a signal to the victims that there are people looking out for them." The rights arm of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on Friday urged Russia to investigation the allegations.
"The authorities in the Russian Federation must urgently investigate the horrific reports of human rights violations against allegedly gay men in Chechnya, as well as identify, prosecute and punish any known perpetrators," the head of the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), Michael Link, said in a statement.
The OSCE, once a rare forum for discussion between East and West during the Cold War, has 57 participating states stretching from North America to Russia and Central Asia. ODIHR deals with election monitoring and human rights in those states.
Link said Moscow had to step in. "Given the reported unwillingness of local authorities to investigate and prosecute the serious violations alleged to have been committed by security services, it is incumbent upon Russian Federation authorities to intervene and protect all those remaining at risk," he said.
A spokesperson for Ramzan Kadyrov, president of Chechnya, says there is no such thing as gays in the region. (Maxim Shemetov /Reuters)
A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin says the Kremlin does not have confirmed information on the violence targeting the LGBT community.

Canadian Broadcasting Company
With files from Reuters

April 15, 2017

Joe Biden Calls Trump to Condemn Abductions of Gays in Chechnya

Joe Biden is "disgusted and appalled" by reports of authorities in Chechnya torturing and killing men who are believed to be gay or bisexual. 
On Friday, the former Vice President responded to growing concerns among international governments and human rights groups who have been pressuring the U.S. to take action and address the Chechen crisis with Russia. 

Help USA 30th Anniversary Luncheon

Joe Biden speaks at an event on March 16, 2017 in New York City. Brad Barket / WireImage

"When faced with such crimes of hate and inhumanity, it is the responsibility of every person of conscience to speak out — to oppose this campaign of violence before it continues further," Biden said in a statement released Friday afternoon. 
The reports of a violent, state-sponsored campaign targeting local LGBTQ men in Chechnya first arose on April 1, when the Russian independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta published a story revealing details of a prison-like facility near the Chechen town of Argun. 
Novaya Gazeta spoke with Chechen men who reported being arrested and subsequently tortured with beatings and electric shocks, as well as being forced to supply authorities with the names and phone numbers of other LGBTQ people. 
A St. Petersburg advocacy group, Russian LGBT Network, set up an emergency hotline to take calls from Chechnya — and now says it has received about 50 calls from people who were targeted or are trying to escape the region. As many as 100 men were believed to have been arrested for suspected homosexuality. Russian LGBT Network told NBC News it believes around 20 men have been killed by authorities as part of the roundups. 
"People are very intimidated and not eager to talk. They are hesitant to even talk to us," Natalia Poplevskaia, the network's International Advocacy Officer and Monitoring Program Coordinator, told NBC News on Tuesday. "The people who have been targeted by the campaign need some time to get back to normal life." 
The Russian LGBT Network said it is helping to evacuate Chechens who have been tortured or are currently in danger. 
But on Friday morning, the group's website briefly stopped functioning. Communications manager Svetlana Zakharova told NBC News that an IT investigation revealed the Russian LGBT Network website had been the target of a DDoS attack — a tactic used by hackers to crash a website by overwhelming it with traffic. 
On Thursday, Novaya Gazeta, the newspaper that first reported the Chechen atrocities, was also hit with a DDoS attack. The paper also published an open letter stating that it had been threatened by Chechen leaders, who referred to reporters as "the enemies of our faith and our homeland" and promised that "retribution will overtake the true instigators ... without a statute of limitations." 
In response to a growing international outcry about the reported LGBTQ torture campaign, Chechen leaders mocked concerns by claiming there are no gay people in the region and even encouraging citizens to "hunt down" anyone they believe to be LGBTQ. 
Russian authorities have largely taken a hands-off approach, though Chechnya is technically under Kremlin rule. 
On Thursday, Vladimir Putin's spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, said he had been informed of the threats against Novaya Gazeta reporters and said, "If in someone's opinion, there were slanderous materials, there are legal methods of challenging prescribed by the law. Obviously, we are strongly opposed to any other methods of influence. Especially against actions that could pose a threat to the security and life of journalists." 
Biden called for further action on Friday. His calls joined previous statements by the United Nations Human Rights Council, the U.S. Department of State and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, among others. 
"Unfortunately, the human rights abuses perpetrated by Chechen authorities and the culture of impunity that surrounds them means that these hate crimes are unlikely to ever be properly investigated or that the perpetrators will see justice," Biden said on Friday. “But that does not mean that we should fail to defend basic human rights, fundamental freedoms, and universal values."

April 14, 2017

UN Condemns Reports of Gay Men Being Targeted in Chechnya

United Nations human rights experts are urging Russian authorities to investigate reports about gay men allegedly being targeted and detained in the Russian republic of Chechnya.

“It is crucial that reports of abductions, unlawful detentions, torture, beatings and killings of men perceived to be gay or bisexual are investigated thoroughly," the experts said in a statement posted on the website for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Since March, there have been increasing numbers of reports of gay men disappearing in Chechnya, according to a human rights activist and a leading opposition newspaper in Russia. Some are being detained; the fate of others is unknown, human rights groups say.

The newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, reported earlier this month that the men were detained “in connection with their non-traditional sexual orientation, or suspicion of such,” citing Russian federal law enforcement officials.

Novaya Gazeta reported that more than 100 gay men had been detained in two weeks in March and said it had the names of three who had been murdered.

CNN has not been able to independently confirm the newspaper's reporting. But Ekaterina Sokirianskaia, Russia project director of the International Crisis Group, told CNN April 4 that in the previous 10 days she had received information from multiple sources in Chechnya about the detention of gay men, including a hairdresser and cultural and religious figures.

Sokirianskaia, a Moscow-based expert on the Caucasus region that includes the republic of Chechnya, said the volume of information made it "almost impossible to believe this is not happening, but it is also very difficult to verify because Chechen society is extremely homophobic."
She said it was unclear what had triggered the apparent anti-gay campaign.

'An April Fool's joke'
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters in a conference call Friday the Kremlin has no legitimate information on any such problems in Chechnya.

"We are unaware of any reports to the police or any complaints filed to them from the representatives of non-traditional sexual orientation regarding this. Maybe I'm mistaken and maybe some reports took place, but at least I haven't read anything about it. This information has to get verified,” Peskov said.

He added that he was not aware of any investigation under way by Russian police about the alleged disappearances or detentions.

"If any citizens have their rights violated, those citizens normally complain to police -- they act according to the methods, suggested by the law," Peskov said.

The response from Chechnya -- an almost entirely Muslim republic, which includes part of Russia's border with Georgia -- was very different. The press secretary of the republic's Interior Ministry, Magomed Deniev, told Russian media April 3 that the report "is probably an April Fool's joke."
A spokesman for the Chechen government, Alvi Karimov, told the Russian news agency Interfax that the story in Novaya Gazeta was “an absolute lie."

But Karimov’s fuller explanation underlined the deeply conservative and intolerant views of the republic's leadership.

"You can't detain and harass someone who doesn't exist in the republic," he said.
“If there were such people in the Chechen republic, law enforcement wouldn't have a problem with them because their relatives would send them to a place of no return."

Karimov appears to have been talking about so-called "honor killings" or the murders -- by their own family members -- of people who offended social conventions.
‘Climate of fear'

Sokirianskaia at the International Crisis Group said honor killings still take place in Chechnya, and gay men would get no protection from their families, who would see them as a source of shame.
But she said some gay men had left the republic and were now beginning to tell their stories to gay rights groups.

She said there was no gay "community" as such in Chechnya. Small groups would connect by phone but ran the risk of discovery because of the monitoring of calls by Chechen security services.

Gay individuals lived, Sokirianskaia said, in a climate of fear, paranoid about being discovered.
Even human rights officials in Chechnya are unsympathetic on LGBT issues. Heda Saratova, head of the Human Rights Council in Chechnya, dismissed the article in Novaya Gazeta as “spitting into our face, our traditions, our customs."

Saratova told CNN by phone that "even if people with non-traditional sexual orientation are present in our society, no one would ever know about this. They (gay rights groups) say that they want to hold gay parades here, this is just absurd.”

Ramzan Kadyrov, leader of Chechnya since 2004, has stifled any form of dissent, subduing the separatist movement that fought the Russian army for nearly two decades.
Ramzan Kadyrov, seen here in December 2016, said Chechnya and Russia could be weakend by vices.

Ramzan Kadyrov, seen here in December 2016, said Chechnya and Russia could be weakend by vices.

In 2009, Kadyrov said in a newspaper interview that "Prostitution, drugs and gays are the poison of our time. How can Russia support gay clubs?"
“There is a whole system aimed at weakening the country, the will, honor, and spirit," Kadyrov said of what he considered vices.
He has also spoken favorably of polygamy.

Kadyrov posts social media videos of himself working out and offered to raise a volunteer force to send to Syria to fight on behalf of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
LGBT groups across Russia say they are frequently discriminated against, and several of their rallies have been attacked and broken up.

In 2013, Putin signed a law that barred public discussion of gay rights and relationships anywhere that children might hear it. The law has been condemned by Russian and international rights groups.
Human Rights Watch described the anti-gay propaganda law as “a profoundly discriminatory and dangerous bill that is bound to worsen homophobia in Russia."

April 12, 2017

Vigilantes Break intoGay Couple’s House While TheyR Having Sex

This incident on the tape happened a few years ago but we have obtained evidence of how these so called sex police raids  happen. They will watch and then break into a private person’s home and then report them to the police after usually being assaulted followed by arrest. These two men in the video were charged, arrested and sentenced under a part of Sharia law. It is time that we shame these vigilantes and kangaroo courts for what they are doing and thanks to technology show them and ask what makes this acceptable in a society?  It wasn’t right during the dark ages and is not alright today on the 21 century.

WARNING: Graphic content

The young man is hunched down in the corner on the floor - naked, his knees attempting to cover his manhood. He's covering his face, while being filmed, appearing to plead for mercy.

Another young man, wearing just shorts, is pushed into the same corner.

"Brother, please help, please help, please help us," the man being filmed says.
As he pleads, he is slapped, kicked and insulted.

"Brother we got busted having sex. Brother please don't report me."

One of the captors replied: "You are a man, why do you look like this?" 
Footage has emerged of the moment a group of men, described as "vigilantes", raid a boarding house in Indonesia who laugh as they assault the two men and called them "dogs".

The couple, aged 21 and 23, were filmed on March 28 in the province of Banda Aceh as the men detained the pair for breaching the country's strict religious laws. They were reported to police the next day.

The footage, circulated online, shows the gang raid the house and find the couple in bed.

The gang who raided the home were neighbours of the couple who had become suspicious, a spokesman for Aceh's sharia police Marzuki Ali told the ABC

"The case has been sent to the sharia court of Aceh... It involves sodomy which can be punished by 100 lashes," he told Reuters.

According to the Bangkok Post, the neighbours had spotted them being intimate with each other regularly and had "set out to catch them" having sex.

Sharia police later arrested the men who admitted being in a relationship and having had sex three times, said the spokesman.

"Obviously it's not easy to catch a couple involved in a sexual act ... This is the first case ever in Aceh," Andreas Harsono, from the group Human Rights Watch, told the ABC.

In 2007, a gay couple in the same province were caught in a similar, brutal way, according to Amnesty International.

On 22 January 2007 two gay men were reportedly beaten, kicked and verbally abused by neighbours and then were arbitrarily detained by the police.

"Tomy and his partner were then forced to go outside where they were confronted with a group of 10-15 people who kicked and beat them, using homophobic language such as: 'You outsiders slander us; you soil our place with your filthy tricks!'

"Tomy became the focus of their assault because he tried to protect his partner.

"The sarong that his partner was wearing was used to tie them together and they were then made to squat on the ground, while their attackers deliberated on what to do next.

"Tomy claims that around six or seven police officers beat him in the stomach, legs and feet. "The police also allegedly forced him and his partner to strip naked and perform oral sex and other sex acts in front of them. At one point, a police officer allegedly pushed his rifle against Tomy's anus.

"Tomy and his partner were then taken outside into a courtyard and were made to squat on the ground in their underwear. Police officers sprayed them with cold water from a hosepipe for around 15 minutes. When his partner asked for permission to go to the toilet, a police officer allegedly forced him to urinate on Tomy's head."

Aceh is the only province in the world's most populous Muslim-majority country which implements sharia law. People caught gambling and drinking alcohol have for some years been punished with public canings.

Under a local law that came into force in 2015, people can also be punished for having gay sex with up to 100 strokes of the cane.

The recently arrested men - whose identities have not been released - will be the first to be caned for breaking the regulation if the punishment goes ahead.

Homosexuality is not illegal in Indonesia but the country's Consitutional Court is considering to recriminalise sex outside of marriage and gay sex.

But it's not just homosexuals who face Indonesia's growing religious conservative movement; last year an incredible 339 people were whipped in Aceh for crimes ranging from gambling to drinking.

Last year a 20-year-old woman was publicly caned for standing too close to her boyfriend. Accused of breaking Islamic sharia law, which forbids couples to become intimate, she was the 14th person to be flogged in her province.

The arrests in the western province sparked outrage among rights activists, with Human Rights Watch demanding the men's release and warning that they face "public torture for the 'crime' of their alleged sexual orientation".

"The arrest and detention of these two men underscores the abuse embedded in Aceh's discriminatory, anti-LGBT ordinances," said Phelim Kine, the group's deputy Asia director.

Gay sex is not illegal in the rest of Indonesia, which mainly follows a criminal code inherited from former colonial ruler the Netherlands.

However there was a backlash against the country's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community last year with government ministers publicly making anti-gay statements.

Aceh, on Sumatra island, began implementing sharia law after being granted special autonomy in 2001, an attempt by the central government to quell a long-running separatist insurgency.

Islamic laws have been strengthened since the province struck a peace deal with Jakarta in 2005.

- Additional reporting by AFP

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