Canadian human rights organization, Rainbow Railroad, has announced plans to assist LGBTs in Chechnya who are in danger of detention and torture for being gay.
Via press release:
With recent reports of abductions, detentions, enforced disappearances, torture and deaths targeting gay and bisexual men in Chechnya, a Canadian non-profit human rights organization announced today an emergency response plan to assist those in danger. Founded in 2006, Rainbow Railroad actively assists LGBTQ people escape danger through its global network of safe routes.
“Since we first received initial reports of gay concentration camps being established in Chechnya, Rainbow Railroad immediately re-classified Eastern Europe as a priority region,” explains Executive Director, Kimahli Powell. “This means we’re expanding our on-the-ground contacts as well as increasing our capacity to identify and assess new or alternative safe routes out of Chechnya.”
To assist in this effort, Rainbow Railroad is working closely with the Russian LGBT Network, a non-governmental organization currently leading the campaign to rescue those facing danger in Chechnya. The two organizations will work together to identify individuals who need to be evacuated – with Rainbow Railroad providing direct travel assistance.
“An important part of our emergency response plan is to support the Russian LGBT Network in their rescue campaign,” says Powell. “This includes fundraising to support the organization while allocating resources to increase the number of people we can support in the region.. In addition, we are formally requesting the Canadian government provide direct assistance to those in need by way of emergency visas.”
More about Rainbow Railroad via the official website:
Rainbow Railroad receives hundreds of requests for help every year from countries where LGBT individuals are open targets of violence.
Because the volume of requests is so high, we focus our efforts on assisting LGBT people who have faced physical violence or face an imminent threat of violence, imprisonment, or death.
At any given time, Rainbow Railroad is working on 30-50 open cases, confirming their details, putting them in touch with local resources and helping them identify safe routes for escape. As the situation worsens in many parts of the world, these numbers continue to grow.