Wednesday June 7th 2017
ADVOCATES WELCOME AUS GOV CALL FOR CHECHNYA PROBE BUT WANT FURTHER ACTION ON ANTI-GAY PERSECUTION
Equality advocates have welcomed the Australian Government's call for Russia to conduct a credible investigation into reports of the systematic imprisonment and torture of gay and bisexual men in Chechnya, but say the Government should do more, including sponsoring a UN resolution and offering gay refugees asylum.
A spokesperson for the Prime Minister has written to just.equal in response to the group's concerns that Australia is not doing enough to end anti-gay persecution by Chechen authorities (letter here
In the letter the spokesperson says Australia "has made direct representations to the Russian Government" and that Australia backs a multi-national call for "Russian authorities to conduct an independent and credible investigation".
Just.equal spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said,
"We welcome the fact the Australian Government has expressed concern to Moscow and has joined other nations in calling for an inquiry, but more needs to be done."
"But we would like to see the Australian Government sponsor a UN resolution condemning the persecution in Chechnya and offer asylum to those gay and bisexual men currently being persecuted by the Chechen authorities."
"We don't believe the Russian Government can guarantee the safety of LGBTI Chechens and would like to see Australia become a welcoming, safe haven."
"We would also like to see the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade update its Smart Travaller advisories for LGBTI Australians in Russia and other countries, and establish a foreign affairs reference group on LGBTI issues that includes community representatives, academics and diplomats."
A copy of the letter can be found here
. A copy is also attached.
For more information contact Rodney Croome on 0409 010 668.