Lithuania organizes discussion on human rights violations in Chechnya
At the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting 2017 of OSCE participating states in Warsaw on 21 September, Lithuania together with its international partners convened a meeting, entitled ‘LGBTI persons outside the Law in Chechnya (Russia). What should be the international community’s reaction?’ The side event focused on recent hate crimes committed against LGBTI persons in Chechnya.
This Lithuanian initiative seeks to draw the international community’s attention to mass persecution and murders of LGBTI persons in Chechnya, and to call on Russia to restore respect for the rule of law immediately. Russia was urged to investigate these crimes as soon as possible, ensuring perpetrator accountability.
In addition, the meeting discussed the international community’s response and possibility to better coordinate actions among international organizations, preventing hate crimes and discrimination based on sexual orientation. Recommendations for further action were also presented.
The discussion was attended by the Director of the Russian LGBT Network, human rights activist Igor Kochetkov, the journalist Elena Milashina who works for Novaya Gazeta and who has published the first journalistic investigation into the persecution of LGBTI persons in Chechnya, as well as the attorney who advocates for the civil rights of LGBT people in Russia Dmitry G. Bartenev.
The side event was organized at Lithuania’s initiative in cooperation with Canada, Denmark, Sweden, the U.S.A., Belgium, Germany, Finland, Latvia, and Ukraine, an independent watchdog organization Freedom House and the Heinrich Böll Foundation.
The 2-week long OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting brings together more than 1,500 representatives from 57 OSCE participating states, OSCE institutions, international and non-governmental organizations. It is a platform for the OSCE participating states and other relevant actors to take stock of the implementation of OSCE human dimension commitments.
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