You Can Donate Your Air Miles to Save LGBT Chechens Fleeing Russia

LGBT organisations around the globe are urging people to generously donate any spare air miles they have to support LGBT men and women desperately trying to flee Chechnya following recent reports of gay men being targeted, imprisoned, tortured and murdered by Russian officials.

Though the UK have no made any direct actions to help the victims flee the country, despite UK Prime Minister Theresa May previously calling for “urgent action”, Lithuania and France have pledged to take in persecuted Chechens into their country.

A spokesperson from the Russian LGBT Network told HISKIND that “The UK embassy in Russia knows about the situation. They have raised their concerns but they are not currently making the step forwards towards helping us.”

Chechen leader Razman Kadyrov has denied claims made by Novaya Gazeta that gay men have been rounded up, tortured and murdered, stating that “you cannot arrest or repress people who just don’t exist in the republic.”

A Hong Kong event tomorrow, ran by Planet Ally in collaboration with organisations such as the Russian LGBT Network and Rainbow Railroad – who have been at the forefront in saving Chechens – aims to raise money and air miles to help pay for the recourses to help those who need to escape.

So far, the Russian LGBT Network have evacuated 43 people from Russia, directing them to safety outside the country. “We are now in the process of negotiating visas for other people with five other countries. We are hopeful that governments will help us to evacuate people.”

Over $300,000 has already been raised for Rainbow Railroad. The event will include a Skype session with organizers from Rainbow Railroad, an expert panel discussion on LGBTI refugees, and live performances from local Hong Kong entertainers Les Fight and La Chiquitta.

You can donate to All Out’s evacuation fund here.

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