Gay Men Persecuted In Chechnya – Canada, Not Our Problem

As one can imagine, LGBTQ and Human Rights Groups have been going crazy over the latest reports out of Chechnya that gay men are being rounded up and tortured in concentration camps. Now those same groups are urging the Canadian Government to grant victimized Chechen homosexuals refugee status to Canada to aid in their escape. But it looks like Canada is saying no.

“In order to be considered for resettlement, individuals must be outside their country of origin,” Department of Immigration spokesman, Remi Lariviere said. The Russian LGBT Network has found shelter for about 30 Chechen men but because Chechnya is a semi-autonomous republic within the Russian Federation, these men don’t qualify as refugees.

Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen refused to make any commitments stating, “We strongly support that community and the difficulties that they are going through.” But he would not promise any specific action, only to say he was “responsibly looking at what options we have in responding to that really difficult situation in a complex and volatile region.”

The sad reality is that Russia isn’t a safe place for homosexuals, especially the men. There are widespread reports of hate crimes going unpunished and the only thing standing in their way to escape is a Visa to Canada.

Let’s hope no more gay have to die before this policy is changed.


photo credit: picture alliance/ZUM APRESS/J Schneunert

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