January 18, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – Global Affairs Canada
The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today released the following statement:
“Canada is deeply concerned by reports of renewed targeting and persecution of LGBTQ2 individuals in Chechnya. Recent reports indicate that since last month, dozens of people have been detained, harassed and interrogated, and two have been reported dead as a result of torture.
“Canada reiterates its calls on Russia to protect human rights and to investigate these grave reports of persecution.
“Canada and 15 other countries of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) invoked the Moscow Mechanism, a tool to investigate these grave human rights violations. The special rapporteur’s fact-finding report confirmed last month that severe human rights violations continue in the Chechen Republic, including against LGBTQ2 individuals.
“Yesterday, at the OSCE Permanent Council, Canada’s ambassador engaged with Russia and reiterated our call for Russia to implement the recommendations of the Moscow Mechanism report in order to address these serious human rights abuses.
“Russia’s continued inaction in this situation has only strengthened the climate of impunity in Chechnya, allowing for further abuses to be committed. This must end, and the perpetrators of human rights violations must be held accountable.
“We urge Russian authorities to ensure the immediate release of the LGBTQ2 individuals currently detained in Chechnya, and to protect all those who are at risk due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.”