NEW YORK Last week GLAAD the world's LGBTQ media advocacy organization released a public call urging U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley to condemn the violent attacks on LGBTQ men in Chechnya and investigate reports of anti-LGBTQ concentration camps set up by the Chechen government. GLAAD's public call received widespread support on Twitter. Today Ambassador Haley released a statement.
"We continue to be disturbed by reports of kidnapping, torture, and murder of people in Chechnya based on their sexual orientation and those persecuted by association. If true, this violation of human rights cannot be ignored Chechen authorities must immediately investigate these allegations, hold anyone involved accountable, and take steps to prevent future abuses.
We are against all forms of discrimination, including against people based on sexual orientation. When left unchecked, discrimination and human rights abuses can lead to destabilization and conflict.
Tomorrow, the United States will lead a first-ever meeting on human rights in international conflicts in the UN Security Council to underscore our commitment to addressing human rights abuses wherever they threaten international peace and security."
"The attacks on LGBTQ men and reports of concentration camps in Chechnya were beyond horrific, and Ambassador Haley is taking the right step in speaking out against these blatant violations of human rights," said Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President and CEO. "This is a powerful sign that the U.S. Mission to the United Nations will continue to prioritize LGBTQ acceptance and fight discrimination and human rights abuses around the world."
GLAAD's call to action for Ambassador Haley to speak out followed reports that more than 100 LGBTQ men are being detained in Russian-controlled Chechnya because of their perceived sexual orientation, with three men allegedly being killed. Last week, international media outlets including the International Business Times released disturbing stories around two suspected concentration camp-style prisons where the men are forced to endure many forms of physical and verbal abuse at the hands of government officials including electrocution and violent beatings. Some are reportedly being held from their families at ransom.
In addition to Ambassador Haley's remarks, other world leaders have also publicly condemned Chechnya's reported torture on LGBTQ men.
U.S. Department of State
A panel of five experts who advise the United Nations Human Rights Council
Former Vice President Joe Biden
U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe ( OSCE )
French Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The U.S House LGBT Caucus
Anne Frank Center
United Kingdom's Foreign & Commonwealth Office
Members of the United Kingdom Parliament from the Labour, Conservatives and the Green Party
Debbie Wasserman Schultz - United States Congresswomen and Former DNS Chair
The Rainbow NZ Parliamentary Network
Chrystia Freeland - Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs
Julie Bishop - Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs
Boris Johnson - Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs in the United Kingdom,
Federica Mogherini - High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
Antonio Tajani - President of the European Parliament
Tim Wilson - Member of the Australian Parliament and Former Australian Human Rights Commissioner