Calls for Morrison Government to target LGBTIQ+ abuses in Chechnya

The Victorian Pride Lobby has welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement that Australia will soon introduce Magnitsky-style sanctions, and have urged Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne to impose them on the people responsible for LGBTQ+ human rights abuses in Chechnya.

The government’s new laws will allow targeted financial sanctions and travel bans to be imposed on human rights abusers, corrupt officials, and those who threaten Australia’s national security.

Earlier this year, the Lobby launched a petition calling on the government to impose sanctions on two of the men responsible for the human right abuses being perpetrated against LGBTQ+ people in Chechnya, which received nearly 4,000 signatures.

In Chechnya – a republic of Russia – there have been ongoing reports of citizens being arrested en masse or tortured due to their perceived or actual sexual orientation or gender identity.

Survivors have claimed that Chechen authorities are urging parents to kill their gay children. Gay and bisexual men are being tricked into meetings using social media, only to be violently attacked or detained. There are shocking reports of queer women being detained and subjected to acts of sexual violence.

In response to the Lobby’s calls as well as political pressure from Greens Senator Janet Rice, Minister Payne responded in April by saying that any intervention “could take months”.

Co-Convenor of the Victorian Pride Lobby, Nevena Spirovska, said the government’s announcement today was a significant step in the right direction, and that Minister Payne shouldn’t delay sending a clear message to Chechnya that the world is watching.

“Every single queer person deserves to feel safe from persecution and violence. But in many places that sadly isn’t the case. In Chechnya, LGBTQ+ people are living in daily fear of being targeted for who they are or who they love,” she said.

“That’s why the Lobby is urging the Australian Government to join the US and UK in sanctioning Chechyan figures Ayub Kataev and Abuzayed Vismuradov who are responsible for the country’s shocking abuses against LGBTQ people.”

OIP Staff

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